Factitious diarrhea detected by measurement of stool osmolality

Mark Topazian, Henry J. Binder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Patients with chronic unexplained diarrhea present a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. Many disorders can cause chronic diarrhea, but despite extensive evaluation the cause may remain unknown. Surreptitious abuse of laxatives1 and ingestion of drugs whose laxative properties are not recognized2 are leading causes of chronic diarrhea in patients referred to university hospitals for evaluation3,4. Factitious diarrhea has traditionally been diagnosed by evaluating stools for laxatives. We recently studied two patients with chronic unexplained diarrhea who were found to have diluted their stool samples. Dilution was suspected when the measured stool osmolality was found to be considerably lower than.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1418-1419
Number of pages2
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 19 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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