The colon in kwashiorkor was investigated by means of rectal biopsy and sigmoidoscopy in 20 children, followed by barium enema in 10 of the children. The colon during the acute phase of the disease showed a surface epithelial atrophy, with infiltration of plasma cells and congestion of small vessels. Viewed under the dissecting microscope, a disorganized vascular pattern was seen in all cases.
On recovery from kwashiorkor after 3 to 4 weeks, the abnormal vascular pattern and epithelial atrophy of the colon had returned to normal in most children.
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