A primary intestinal lymphangiectasia hiding the diagnosis of pleural and pericardial tuberculosis: a clinical observation

Pan Afr Med J. 2017 Feb 23:26:89. doi: 10.11604/pamj.2017.26.89.11125. eCollection 2017.


Primary intestinal lymphangiectasia (Waldmann's disease) is an exudative enteropathy characterized by lymph leakage into the small bowel lumen leading to hypoalbuminemia, hypogammaglobulinemia and lymphopenia (particularly T-cell). The diagnosis is based on viewing the duodenal lymphangiectasia. A 20 years old female patient, treated for a primary intestinal lymphangiectasia, has consulted for anasarca. Etiological work-up reveals pleural and pericardial tuberculosis. The clinical aggravation of an enteropathy, particularly in adulthood, requires a search for a secondary etiology. Tuberculosis should be sought systematically.

Keywords: Waldmann’s disease; intestinal; malabsorption; primary intestinal lymphangiectasia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphangiectasis, Intestinal / diagnosis*
  • Lymphangiectasis, Intestinal / etiology
  • Lymphedema / diagnosis*
  • Lymphedema / etiology
  • Pericardium / microbiology*
  • Tuberculosis / complications
  • Tuberculosis / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis / physiopathology
  • Tuberculosis, Pleural / complications
  • Tuberculosis, Pleural / diagnosis*
  • Young Adult

Supplementary concepts

  • Waldmann disease