Disorders associated with malabsorption of iron: A critical review
Malabsorption is a disorder of the gastrointestinal tract that leads to defective digestion, absorption and transport of important nutrients across the intestinal wall. Small intestine is the major site where most of the nutrients are absorbed. There are three main mechanisms of malabsorption; premucosal, mucosal and postmucosal. Premucosal malabsorption is the inadequate digestion due to improper mixing of gastrointestinal enzymes and bile with chyme. This could be because of surgical resection of the small intestine or a congenital deficiency of the enzymes and bile responsible for digestion e.g. postgastrectomy, chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, cystic fibrosis, gallstones, cholangitis etc. Mucosal malabsorption occurs in celiac disease, tropical sprue, Crohn’s disease etc. Postmucosal condition arises due to impaired nutrients transport e.g. intestinal lymphangiectasia, macroglobulinemia etc. Disorders of malabsorption lead to decreased iron absorption and produce iron deficiency anemia. Using the index terms malabsorption, postgastrectomy, chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, cystic fibrosis, gallstones, cholangitis, celiac disease, tropical sprue, Crohn’s disease intestinal lymphangiectasia, macroglobulinemia and iron deficiency anemia the MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched. Additional data sources included bibliographies and references of identified articles.
How to cite this:Saboor M, Zehra A, Qamar K, Moinuddin. Disorders associated with malabsorption of iron: A critical review. Pak J Med Sci 2015;31(6):1549-1553. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.12669/pjms.316.8125
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