What is the role of malabsorption in Crohn disease?

Updated: Jul 26, 2019
  • Author: Leyla J Ghazi, MD; Chief Editor: Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF  more...
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Malabsorption can occur as a result of loss of functional mucosal absorptive surface. This phenomenon can lead to protein-calorie malnutrition, dehydration, and multiple nutrient deficiencies. Involvement of the terminal ileum may result in malabsorption of bile acids, which leads to steatorrhea, fat-soluble vitamin deficiency, and gallstone formation.

Fat malabsorption, by trapping calcium, may result in increased oxalate excretion (normally complexed by calcium), causing kidney stone formation. Steatorrhea and fat-soluble vitamin deficiency may also lead to clotting abnormalities, calcium deficiency, and osteomalacia, which may progress to osteoporosis. Vitamin B-12 deficiency may also occur with ileal resection or long-standing ileal disease. [1]

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