Fat-balance studies were carried out in twelve cases of tropical sprue in Puerto Rico and in two volunteer control subjects. The investigation involved determining by chemical analysis the total daily fat in a screening diet given over an eight-day period and the total daily fat eliminated in the feces during the same period. Steatorrhea, defined as a daily output of over 6 gm. of fat (fatty acids) in 24-hour stools, was observed in ten of the twelve cases studied and in neither of the control subjects.
This investigation was carried out as a cooperative project under a grant from the U. S. Public Health Service. National Institutes of Health Research Project A-889.