1887

Malabsorption

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Abstract

PLEASE NOTE THAT A MORE RECENT EDITION OF THIS TITLE IS AVAILABLE IN THE LIBRARY

Diseases in which digestion of food and/or subsequent net absorption of nutrients are defective are traditionally classified as either primary failure to digest (maldigestion), or primary failure to absorb (malabsorption). This classification is misleading however, since the digestive and absorptive processes are inextricably linked and failure of absorption is an inevitable consequence of defective digestion. For example, most patients with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) have associated abnormalities of small intestinal function and most diseases affecting the small intestine (SI) will inevitably impair the terminal processes of digestion that take place at the luminal surface of the intestinal mucosa. It is therefore preferable to use the term malabsorption as a global one to encompass all aspects of impaired digestion and absorption. This chapter covers Defects of premucosal function; Defects of mucosal function; and Defects of postmucosal function.

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