Serum and rectal mucosal zinc levels in acute and chronic diarrhea.

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Serum and rectal mucosal zinc content was estimated in children (6-18 months old) with acute diarrhea (Group I: 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 and tissue zinc levels in acute (p less than 0.001) and chronic (p less than 0.05 for serum; p less than 0.001 for tissue) diarrhea groups were significantly lower than healthy and infected controls. Group II had significantly lower (p less than 0.001) serum and rectal zinc content in comparison to Group I. There was a significant negative correlation between serum zinc and diarrheal duration (r = 0.5676; p less than 0.001). Repeat estimation at discharge in 38 patients (25 in Group I, 13 in Group II) revealed a significant reduction in both tissue and serum zinc and only tissue zinc in acute and chronic diarrhea, respectively. A total of 23 patients (16 in Group I, and 7 in Group II) were evaluated 2 weeks after discharge. After discharge, at recovery there was no alteration in serum zinc, but tissue zinc was marginally higher (p greater than 0.05). It is concluded that zinc depletion occurs in diarrhea, more so in the chronic state; with the continuation of diarrhea, depletion progresses; and there is a tendency for repletion during convalescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-133
Number of pages9
JournalIndian pediatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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