Chylous ascites, intestinal lymphangiectasia and the 'yellow-nail' syndrome
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
In 1964 Samman and White described 13 patients with lymphoedema of the lower extremities associated with an unusual dystrophy of the finger and toe nails: this they termed the 'yellow-nail' syndrome. Affected nails were thickened, excessively curved along both axes, very slow growing and of yellowish-grey hue; cuticle and lunula were usually absent and onycholysis was frequently evident. Lower limb lymphangiography in most individuals revealed hypoplasia, or aplasia of the lymphatics, similar to that occurring in primary lymphoedema: other patients also developed pleural effusions of high protein content or ascites suggestive of a more generalised disorder of the lymphatic system. Here we describe a patient in whom the classical 'yellow-nail' syndrome was associated with intestinal and chylous ascites.