McKittrick-Wheelock syndrome

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McKittrick-Wheelock syndrome

McKittrick-Wheelock syndrome is an uncommon syndrome caused by large, villous adenomas that secrete high quantities of electrolyte-rich mucin. This may lead to pre-renal acute kidney injury, secretory diarrhea, and dehydration. It is estimated that 2-3% of large villous adenomas, typically greater than 4 cm in diameter, will present with this hypersecretory pattern.[1]

Symptoms and Signs[edit]

Patients typically present with a history of chronic, watery diarrhea. Before the cause is established, they may have multiple hospitalizations for dehydration and renal failure. Patients may present with hyponatremia, hypokalemia, and elevated creatinine.[2]



The treatment is supportive until the villous adenoma can be resected surgically.


The syndrome was first described by Leland S. McKittrick and Frank C. Wheelock. In 1954 they reported a case of an 84-year-old woman with a large villous papilloma of the rectum, who presented with weakness, syncope and oliguria.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Popescu, A; Orban-Schiopu, A; Becheanu, G; et al. (2005). "McKittrick-Wheelock syndrome: a rare cause of acute renal failure". Rom J Gastroenterolgy. 14: 63–66.
  2. ^ Raphael, M; McDonald, C; Detsky, A (2015). "McKittrick-Wheelock syndrome". CMAJ. 187 (9): 676–678.
  3. ^ McKittrick, LS; Wheelock, FC (1954). Carcinoma of the Colon. Charles C Thomas. pp. 61–63.