Chronic Idiopathic Diarrhea

Eric D. Mintz, Julie Parsonnet, Michael T. Osterholm, Rekha G. Afzalpurkar, Lawrence R. Schiller, John S. Fordtran

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

10 Scopus citations


To the Editor: As Afzalpurkar et al. (Dec. 24 issue)1 note, many features of the chronic idiopathic diarrhea they describe also occur in Brainerd diarrhea, a chronic diarrheal syndrome described after outbreaks in Minnesota and Illinois2,3. The authors suggest that the absence of four features – an identified point source, inflammation of colonic-biopsy specimens, fecal leukocytes, and intractable disease – distinguish their patients from patients with Brainerd diarrhea. We believe, however, that their criteria are unreliable. Point sources of Brainerd diarrhea are rarely identified, though cases of sporadic illness indistinguishable from Brainerd diarrhea have been reported in many…

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1713-1714
Number of pages2
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 10 1993


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