Surreptitious laxative ingestion. Delayed recognition of a serious condition: a case report

N. F. LaRusso, D. B. McGill

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21 Scopus citations


A 46 yr old man with chronic diarrhea underwent exhaustive investigations, including laparotomy, but a definitive diagnosis could not be made. It was not until a colonoscopic biopsy demonstrated the pigment of melanosis coli that the surreptitious use of laxatives was considered seriously. This diagnosis was confirmed by simple chemical tests that demonstrated phenolphthalein in the feces and urine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)706-708
Number of pages3
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 1975


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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