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Chronic diarrhoea in an elderly woman: a challenging maze
  1. Inês Simão,
  2. André Mascarenhas,
  3. José Pedro Rodrigues
  1. Department of Gastroenterology, Centro Hospitalar de Lisboa Ocidental EPE, Lisboa, Portugal
  1. Correspondence to Dr Inês Simão, Department of Gastroenterology, Centro Hospitalar de Lisboa Ocidental EPE, Lisboa, Portugal; inesrsimao{at}

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An 84-year-old woman was hospitalised with a 1-year history of aqueous diarrhoea, with 10–15 episodes a day, particularly during daytime and after meals. She also mentioned anorexia, weight loss (20% of body weight) and epigastric discomfort. There was no history of fever, vomiting or blood or mucus in the stools. She had a history of multiple surgical interventions, including a Nissen fundoplication, a left hemicolectomy due to diverticular disease, a gastrojejunostomy with adhesiolysis due to intestinal subocclusion and a cholecystectomy, the last one 6 years before. She had an extensive outpatient investigation with negative microbiological stool tests, including Clostridium difficile, normal faecal calprotectin and elastase, normal thyroid function, negative coeliac antibodies and no vitamin or nutrient deficiency. …

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  • Contributors IS and AM contributed to the manuscript concept and design. IS drafted the manuscript. AM and JPR performed a critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.