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McKittrick–Wheelock syndrome is a rare disorder caused by fluid and electrolyte hypersecretion from a rectal tumour. The most frequently reported tumours are villous adenomas. Dehydration with severe hyponatremia, hypokalemia, metabolic acidosis, acute renal failure and watery diarrhoea is typical. The authors present a case of McKittrick–Wheelock syndrome caused by rectal adenocarcinoma.