Microvillus inclusion disease is an extremely rare inherited intestinal disorder (enteropathy) that is typically apparent within hours or days after birth. The disorder is characterized by chronic, severe, watery diarrhea and insufficient absorption (malabsorption) of necessary nutrients due to incomplete development (hypoplasia) and/or degeneration (atrophy) of certain cells of the wall of the small intestine (e.g., hypoplastic villus atrophy, defective brush-border assembly and differentiation). In infants with microvillus inclusion disease, chronic diarrhea and malabsorption may result in severe dehydration, deficiency of necessary nutrients (malnutrition), a failure to grow and gain weight at the expected rate (failure to thrive), and/or disturbance of the body's balance of acids and bases, which is essential in regulating the body's composition of bodily fluids (acidosis). Microvillus inclusion disease is inherited as an autosomal recessive genetic trait.
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