Pathogenesis of acute diarrhea in children
- Jay R Thiagarajah, MD, PhD
Jay R Thiagarajah, MD, PhD
- Instructor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School;
- Attending Physician, Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition
- Boston Children's Hospital
- Martin G Martin, MD, MPP
Martin G Martin, MD, MPP
- Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Gastroenterology, and Nutrition
- David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Diarrheal diseases have been a major health problem throughout human history. Prior to the advent of modern medicine, severe diarrhea was often fatal and disease outbreaks spread quickly, affecting large populations. Today, despite the success of interventions such as oral and intravenous rehydration therapy, diarrheal diseases remain a substantial cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide, particularly in children and the elderly. In 2015, it was estimated that worldwide 577,000 children aged <5 years and 502,000 adults aged >70 years died from diarrheal diseases . The underlying cause of diarrhea in children are numerous and vary by age and geographical location, among other factors.
Regardless of etiology, the evaluation and management of an infant or child with diarrhea requires an understanding of the physiology of fluid and electrolyte transport in the gastrointestinal tract. This topic focuses on the pathophysiology of fluid absorption and secretion in diarrhea and a classification of diarrhea relevant to diagnostic evaluations.
Detailed reviews of the diagnostic approach and management of diarrhea in children are found in the following topics:To continue reading this article, you must log in with your personal, hospital, or group practice subscription. For more information on subscription options, click below on the option that best describes you:
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- Acute versus chronic diarrhea
- FLUID MOVEMENT IN THE GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT
- Normal fluid absorption and secretion
- Molecular mechanisms
- Pathophysiology of fluid transport in diarrheal disease
- - Overview
- - Mechanisms of altered fluid transport in diarrheal diseases
- - Role of the colon
- DIARRHEA CLASSIFICATION
- Diet-induced (osmotic)
- Electrolyte transport-related (secretory)
- Inflammation related
- RELEVANCE FOR DRUG TREATMENT
- Oral rehydration solution
- Antimotility agents
- Antisecretory agents
- Investigational drugs