[Whipple's disease, when to think about it?].
Whipple's disease is a chronic, systemic, bacterial infection caused by Tropheryma whipplei. Its cardinal symptoms include intermittent and recurrent arthralgia or arthritis together with chronic diarrhoea, abdominal pain and weight loss. It may mimick many chronic inflammatory diseases, and the diagnosis remains a challenge. Salivary and faecal quantitative PCR for T. whipplei should be ensued, if positive, by an upper endoscopy for duodenal biopsies. The treatment consists of a combination of oral doxycycline and hydroxychloroquine for 12 months followed by life-long doxycycline. Whipple's disease, although rare, is an entity that should be considered regularly, as its progression may be fatal if left untreated.
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