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Abstracts |

The Mechanics of Malabsorption.

F. J. Ingelfinger, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Ann Intern Med. 1961;54(5):1049. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-54-5-1049_2
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Normal absorption depends initially on active digestion, and eventually on the presence of healthy mucosal cells. As an intermediate requirement, however, an adequate contact must be established between the products of digestion on the one hand, and a sufficient number of healthy and specifically endowed absorbing cells, on the other. When this contact is inadequate, absorption may suffer in proportion. Mechanisms responsible for preventing adequate contact may act singly or in combination:

1. The area of absorbing surface is curtailed by ablation, by by-pass, or by a degenerative loss of villous projections. The effects of such curtailment are determined not


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