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Author Notes:

Krystal Mills, MD, Internal Medicine Program, Morehouse School of Medicine, 720 Westview Drive SW, Atlanta, GA 30310, USA. Email: kmills@msm.edu

ORCID iD: Krystal Mills https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7387-6690

The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


Research Funding:

The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


  • alcohol
  • cognitive dysfunction
  • diarrhea
  • pellagra

Chronic Diarrhea in a Drinker: A Breakthrough Case of Pellagra in the US South


Journal Title:

Journal of Investigative Medicine High Impact Case Reports


Volume 8


, Pages 2324709620941305-2324709620941305

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


The triad of diarrhea, dementia, and dermatitis constitutes the clinical diagnosis of pellagra. However, most reported cases of pellagra have occurred without all components of the triad. Pellagra was declared eradicated in the United States after an outbreak in the 1920s, and is now considered to be an exceedingly rare diagnosis in developed countries. In this article, we present a case of a 56-year-old man who presented with a significant history of alcohol use and chronic diarrhea. Pellagra was clinically diagnosed based on the triad of diarrhea, cognitive dysfunction, and dermatitis in this malnourished, alcoholic patient. The patient was treated and clinically improved with resolution of his diarrhea and cognitive dysfunction.

Copyright information:

© 2020 American Federation for Medical Research.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).
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