Maldigestion and Malabsorption

Arvey I. Rogers, Ryan D. Madanick

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Chronic diarrhea, associated with an increase in the fecal excretion of fat (steatorrhea), defines lipid malassimilation, which implies impairment in the digestive and/or absorptive phases of dietary fat (lipids). Impaired assimilation of carbohydrates may accompany lipid malabsorption or occur as an isolated problem. Effective problem-solving of steatorrheal or carbohydrate-mediated diarrhea is facilitated by understanding those mechanisms that characterize the normal assimilation of ingested foodstuffs. This comprehension leads to a sharply focused history and physical examination, a more accurate interpretation of laboratory test results and the rational, organ-specific selection of cost-effective specialized tests (fecal osmotic gap, D-xylose testing, Schilling test) and diagnostic procedures (hydrogen breath testing, small bowel biopsy).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTextbook of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)1405191821, 9781405191821
StatePublished - Apr 16 2012


  • Fat-soluble vitamins
  • Fecal osmotic gap
  • Hydrogen breath tests
  • Lactase deficiency
  • Lipid assimilation
  • Malabsorption
  • Sarbohydrate assimilation
  • Schilling test
  • Steatorrhea
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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