In the half century since Whipple first described the disease which continues to bear his name, only 50 or 60 cases have been reported, and the validity of several of these is in question. In recent years there has been renewed interest in Whipple's disease (intestinal lipodystrophy) because of its possible response to steroid therapy. The etiology of this rare disorder is unknown, but the notion that it is caused by a hypersensitivity reaction seems to be gaining favor. Many authors have pointed out salient clinical and laboratory features that may permit an antemortem diagnosis. The following case is presented because most of the typical clinical and pathological features were seen.
Report of Case
A 65-year-old white man, a retired coal miner, came to the State University of Iowa Hospitals on Aug. 11, 1955. His main complaint was that he had had a severe, watery diarrhea for about a year.