Hypomagnesemia in intestinal lymphangiectasia: a case report and review of the literature

BMC Gastroenterol. 2022 May 15;22(1):246. doi: 10.1186/s12876-022-02318-6.


Background: Intestinal lymphangiectasia (IL) is a rare disease characterized by dilation of lymphatic vessels and leakage of lymphatic fluids into the intestinal lumen, causing depletion of lymphocytes, protein, lipids, fat-soluble vitamins, and electrolytes. Hypomagnesemia can occur in IL patients but is seldom discussed.

Case presentation: A 30-year-old Tibetan woman who had chronic diarrhea, edema, tetany, and tingling was diagnosed with IL. Prominent hypomagnesemia was noticed. She was treated with a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) diet and nutrient supplementation with satisfactory results. We also present a systematic review of hypomagnesemia in IL cases from the published literature.

Conclusions: Hypomagnesemia may be an overlooked complication of IL, thus monitoring serum magnesium concentrations in IL patients is crucial.

Keywords: Case report; Hypoproteinemia; Intestinal lymphangiectasia; Protein-losing enteropathy; Waldmann’s disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diarrhea / diagnosis
  • Edema / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestines
  • Lymphangiectasis, Intestinal* / complications
  • Lymphangiectasis, Intestinal* / diagnosis
  • Lymphangiectasis, Intestinal* / therapy
  • Magnesium*


  • Magnesium