Water and electrolyte movement in the jejunum of normal subjects and patients with sprue was measured during perfusion with isotonic electrolyte solutions. Normal subjects absorbed water, sodium, and potassium. By contrast, in patients with sprue (seven with adult celiac sprue and one with tropical sprue) who had diarrhea and steatorrhea, these substances were secreted into the intestinal lumen. This indicates that the jejunal mucosa of these patients was in a secretory state with respect to water and electrolytes.


John S. Fordtran, Floyd C. Rector, T. Ward Locklear, Maynard F. Ewton


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