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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 15 (2001), Issue 1, Pages 61-64
Brief Communication

Intractable Diarrhea in a Newborn Infant: Microvillous Inclusion Disease

Wendy Wilson,1 R Brent Scott,1 Alfredo Pinto,2 and Marli A Robertson1

1Department of Pediatrics, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
2Department of Pathology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Received 30 June 1999; Accepted 20 September 1999

Copyright © 2001 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A newborn male presented with watery diarrhea, dehydration and metabolic acidosis. Severe secretory diarrhea of variable magnitude persisted when the patient was on parenteral nutrition with no oral intake. Initial light microscopic evaluation of a small intestinal mucosal biopsy showed partial villous atrophy and crypt hypoplasia. Ultrastructural studies of the villous enterocyte revealed internalized inclusions of microvilli, typical of microvillous inclusion disease. Presented are a case report and a discussion of the differential diagnosis of watery diarrhea in the neonate, as well as a short review of microvillous inclusion disease.