Whipple's Disease: A Multisystem Infection

Theodore M. Bayless, David L. Knox

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Whipple's disease is usually considered an intestinal disorder characterized by malabsorption and macrophages that stain with periodic acidSchiff (PAS). In fact, this disease is a chronic, multisystem, antibiotic-responsive bacterial infection that may produce severe and complex neurologic manifestations. In this issue of the Journal, Feurle et al. describe two patients with the cerebral complications of Whipple's disease, whose histories highlight the concept that neurologic symptoms and signs may develop when gastrointestinal symptoms are minimal,1 or may be prominent even after antibiotic therapy has “cleared” the intestinal mucosa of bacterial bodies and PAS-positive macrophages.2 Some neurologic dysfunction would be expected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)920-921
Number of pages2
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 19 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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