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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Waldmann disease

Other Names for this Disease
  • Familial Waldmann's disease (type)
  • Primary intestinal lymphangiectasis
  • Waldmann's disease
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Your Question

What is the life expectancy for infants diagnosed with Waldmann disease?

Our Answer

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What is Waldmann disease?

Waldmann disease is a digestive disorder characterized abnormally enlarged lymph vessels supplying the lining of the small intestine.  The cause of Waldmann disease is unknown. Signs of Waldmann disease include loss of lymphatic fluid into the gastrointestinal tract, protein-losing enteropathy, too little albumin in the blood, reduced levels of antibodies, and immunodeficiency. Symptoms include swelling in the legs and abdominal discomfort. For many patients, treatment of Waldmann disease involves long term diet therapy.[1]
Last updated: 1/9/2014

What is the life expectancy for Waldmann disease diagnosed within the first few months of life?

Generally, the earlier the onset of Waldmann disease, the more severe the disease. If Waldmann disease is apparent in the newborn period or the first few months of life, symptoms may include massive edema, diarrhea, malabsorption, and infection.[1] Still, infants with Waldmann disease can (and have) survived into adulthood. Because the severity of symptoms in infants with Waldmann disease can vary, the infants healthcare providers are best able to provide specific information regarding a child's prognosis.
Last updated: 4/28/2008

  • Ballinger AB. Intestinal Lymphangiectasia. NORD Guide to Rare Disorders. 2003; Accessed 1/9/2014.