Protein-Losing Enteropathy

Brooke Corning, Andrew P. Copland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) refers to a pathologic loss of protein from the gastrointestinal tract. PLE may result from a variety of both intra- and extraintestinal diseases. Patients present with symptomatic hypoalbuminemia leading to peripheral edema, pleural and pericardial effusions, and malnutrition sometimes in the context of symptoms of abdominal pain and diarrhea. PLE should be suspected in patients with low serum albumin after ruling out acute illness, dilutional hypoalbuminemia, renal losses, and synthetic dysfunction. Calculation of fecal alpha-1-antitrypsin clearance is the test of choice for diagnosis. While many treatments have been reported, the cornerstone of therapy centers on treating the underlying cause of the PLE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEssential Medical Disorders of the Stomach and Small Intestine
Subtitle of host publicationA Clinical Casebook
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9783030011178
ISBN (Print)9783030011161
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Alpha-1-antitrypsin clearance
  • Fontan procedure
  • Hypoalbuminemia
  • Intestinal lymphangiectasia
  • Menetrier’s disease
  • Protein-losing enteropathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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