Nutritional therapy and effect assessment of infants with primary intestinal lymphangiectasia: Case reports

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Abstract

Rationale:

Intestinal lymphangiectasia (IL) is a rare enteropathy involving the expansion and rupture of intestinal lymphatic channels. Although several reports have studied cases of primary IL (PIL), this condition is very rare, and is even less commonly encountered in infants. This study aimed to investigate the nutritional therapy and effect assessment of chylous reflux disorder caused by PIL in infants.

Patient concerns:

Infantile patients were enrolled in the Affiliated Beijing Shijitan Hospital of the Capital Medical University between January 2012 and March 2014. The minimum age of onset was 4 months and the maximum age of onset was 16 months, with an average age of 4.9 months.

Diagnoses:

All children were inpatient who had been diagnosed with chylous reflux syndrome (chylothorax and/or chylic abdomen) caused by PIL.

Interventions:

Retrospective analysis and individualized nutrition therapy of these cases were carried out. Finally, nutritional therapy and prognosis of PIL were assessed and summarized.

Outcomes:

All the children survived, showed improvement in the serum total protein, albumin, and HGB levels after nutritional therapy. After comprehensive nutritional therapy, we were able to achieve diarrhea control for all the 9 patients, and after treatment, the children passed soft, yellow stools 1 to 2 times/d. After treatment, the height and weight of all patients increased to within the normal ranges of the World Health Organization standard chart. The mean serum albumin level reached 41.3 g/L. All nutrition-related indicators were found to have significant improvement compared with the baseline levels.

Lessons:

The results revealed that nutritional therapy for the 9 children with PIL was effective, and it may be able to improve the clinical syndromes and symptoms of children with PIL and promote recovery.

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