Serum and rectal mucosal copper status in acute and chronic diarrhea

H. P.S. Sachdev, N. K. Mittal, H. S. Yadav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Serum and rectal mucosal copper content was estimated in children (6-18 months old) with acute diarrhea (group 1: N = 50), chronic diarrhea (group II: n-25), extraintestinal infections (group III: n = 15), and apparently healthy controls (group IV: n = 20). The sex and nutritional status of various groups was comparable. The mean serum copper levels in acute diarrhea and infected control groups were comparable, but significantly (p < 0.001) greater in comparison to chronic diarrhea and healthy control groups. The tissue copper in group II was significantly (p < 0.001) lower than other groups, which were comparable. There was a significant negative correlation between serum copper and diarrheal duration (r =-0.615; p < 0.001). Repeat estimation at discharge in 38 significant (p < 0.05) reduction in the serum and tissue copper content during this period. Among the 23 infants (16 in group I and 7 in group II) evaluated 2-3 weeks after discharge, there was an increase in copper values of tissue alone (p < 0.05) in group I and both serum and tissue (p > 0.05) in group II. It is concluded that elevation of serum copper in acute diarrhea is a nonspecific response to infection; infants with chronic but not acute diarrhea are copper depleted at presentation; and with the continuation of diarrhea, there is a progressive depletion of copper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-216
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute diarrhea
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Copper status
  • Serum copper
  • Tissue copper

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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