The existence of tropical sprue in Africa is controversial. In this paper we present 31 cases seen in Rhodesia over a 15 month period. They have the clinical features, small intestinal morphology, malabsorption pattern, and treatment response of tropical sprue. Other causes of malabsorption, and primary malnutrition, have been excluded. The severity of the clinical state and intestinal malabsorption distinguish these patients from those we have described with tropical enteropathy. The previous work on tropical sprue in Africa is reviewed and it is apparent that, when it has been adequately looked for, it has been found. It is clear that the question of tropical sprue in Africa must be re-examined and that it existence may have hitherto been concealed by the assumption that primary malnutrition is responsible for the high prevalence of deficiency states.
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