The Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) provides the following list of features that have been reported in people with this condition. Much of the information in the HPO comes from Orphanet, a European rare disease database. If available, the list includes a rough estimate of how common a feature is (its frequency). Frequencies are based on a specific study and may not be representative of all studies. You can use the MedlinePlus Medical Dictionary for definitions of the terms below.
|Signs and Symptoms||Approximate number of patients (when available)|
|Abnormality of temperature regulation||90%|
|Decreased body weight||90%|
|Abnormality of the pleura||50%|
|Inflammatory abnormality of the eye||50%|
|Abnormal pyramidal signs||7.5%|
|Abnormality of the myocardium||7.5%|
|Abnormality of the pericardium||7.5%|
|Cranial nerve paralysis||7.5%|
|Edema of the lower limbs||7.5%|
|Increased intracranial pressure||7.5%|
Depending on the seriousness of the disease, treatment may also include fluid and electrolyte replacement. Electrolytes are salts and other substances in body fluid that the heart and brain need to function properly. Extra iron, folate, vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium may also be given to help compensate for the vitamins and minerals the body cannot absorb on its own.
Individuals who are being treated for Whipple disease should be closely monitored by a health care provider because signs of the disease can return after therapy has been finished. Full recovery of the small intestine may take up to 2 years, but the symptoms usually disappear in less time. Because relapse is common even after successful treatment, the health care team may continue to monitor the patient for many years.
After treatment, the likely outcome for most people with Whipple disease is good. Most symptoms disappear in about 1 month. Relapse is common, however, highlighting the need to closely watch for a return of symptoms. Endoscopy with small intestinal biopsy followed by PAS staining and electron microscopy or PCR testing should be repeated 1 year after the start of treatment.
People with neurologic Whipple disease who relapse tend to have much poorer health outcomes, including serious neurologic symptoms and even death; therefore, some researchers argue that all cases of Whipple disease should be considered neurologic.
Prompt diagnosis is imperative, as very effective therapies are easy to employ with typically rapid limitation of central nervous system (CNS) progression and even partial reversal of CNS symptoms. If left untreated, progression to death may come as quickly as 1 month after CNS involvement begins.
These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.
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My brother contracted Whipple disease last year. He has been in the hospital and extended care facilities since then. His left hand is impaired and he has been receiving physiotherapy to help him walk and function again. How are the neurologic manifestations of Whipple disease treated? What is the prognosis? See answer
Is there any reason for surgery in the management of Whipple disease? See answer