Cryptosporidiosis may have severe clinical consequences in both immunocompromised and immunocompetent individuals. However, pathophysiological mechanisms that are responsible for diarrhea are poorly understood. We performed jejunal perfusion studies in patients with human immunodeficiency virus-related cryptosporidial diarrhea to measure water and electrolyte transport in vivo. Five patients with human immunodeficiency virus-related cryptosporidiosis and nine healthy volunteers were studied using a triple-lumen steady-state jejunal perfusion technique. Stool volume measurement and distal duodenal biopsy showed that the patients had diarrhea (600-1500 ml/24 hr) and morphological abnormalities of small intestinal mucosa. Net water, sodium, and chloride movement in the jejunum was not significantly different from healthy controls. In these patients with watery diarrhea and morphological mucosal abnormalities, we found no evidence that cryptosporidial diarrhea was due to a secretory state in the proximal small intestine. We conclude that diarrhea may be due to secretion of electrolytes and water efflux more distally or to other abnormalities of gastrointestinal function.
- AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections
- Biological Transport
- Body Water
- Cryptosporidium parvum