Medical Dictionary

Whipple's disease

noun
variants: also Whipple disease

medical Definition of Whipple's disease

:a rare malabsorption syndrome that is caused by an actinomycetous fungus (Tropheryma whippelli) in the mucous membrane of the intestine, that affects primarily the small intestine but becomes more generalized affecting especially the joints, brain, liver, and heart, that is marked by the accumulation of lipid deposits in the intestinal lymphatic tissues, weight loss, joint pain, mental confusion, and generalized lymphadenopathy, and that is diagnosed by the presence of macrophages in the lamina propria of the small intestine which give a positive reaction to a periodic acid-Schiff test called also intestinal lipodystrophy

Biographical Note for whipple's disease

  • Whipple, George Hoyt (1878–1976), American pathologist. For more than 30 years Whipple served as dean of the Rochester (New York) School of Medicine and Dentistry, an institution which he developed into a medical center of the first rank. He is best known for his studies of the role of dietary iron. He initially conceived the idea of using a liver diet to treat pernicious anemia. For his work he shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1934. Whipple also did significant research on tuberculosis, pancreatitis, regeneration of plasma protein, chloroform poisoning in animals, and blackwater fever. He described intestinal lipodystrophy in 1907.

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