The occurrence of Cronkhite Canada syndrome in a 78 year old man is described. The presence of total gastrointestinal mucosal atrophy with nail loss is reported for the first time. It is suggested that the polyps represent residues of aged cells with no absorptive function and that the condition results from the loss of normal proliferative stimuli or acquired resistance to them. The primary biochemical abnormality may be in the affected epithelia but the changes here could alternatively be secondary to failure of synthesis or release of growth factors.
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