WHIPPLE'S DISEASE
WHITLOW
WHIPLASH INJURY
BACKWARD FORCE (HYPEREXTENSION)
(see
spinal injury).
Characteristically, pain
and stiffness in the neck are much worse
24 hours after the injury.
Treatment may include immobiliza-
tion in an orthopaedic collar,
analgesic
drugs, muscle-relaxant drugs,
and
phys-
iotherapy.
It may take a few weeks before
full pain-free movement is possible.
Whipple's disease A rare disorder, also
called intestinal lipodystrophy, that can
affect many organs. Symptoms include
steatorrhoea
as a result of
malabsorption
,
abdominal pain, joint pains, progressive
weight loss, swollen lymph nodes, anae-
mia, and fever. The heart, lungs, and
brain can also be affected. The condition
is most common in middle-aged men.
The cause is thought to be bacterial;
affected tissues are found to contain
macrophages (a type of scavenging cell)
containing rod-shaped bacteria. Treat-
ment is with
antibiotic drugs
for at least
1 year. Dietary supplements are used to
correct nutritional deficiencies occur-
ring as a result of malabsorption.
Whipple's operation A type of
panc-
reatectomy
in which the head of the
pancreas and the loop of the duodenum
are surgically removed.
whipworm infestation Small, cylindrical
whip-like worms, 2.5-5 cm long, that live
in the human large intestine. Infestation
occurs worldwide but is most common
in the tropics. Light infestation causes no
symptoms; heavy infestation can cause
abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and, some-
times,
anaemia
, since a small amount of
the host's blood is consumed every day.
Diagnosis is through the identification
of whipworm eggs in the faeces. Treat-
ment is with
anthelmintic drugs
, such as
mebendazole
. A heavy infestation may re-
quire more than
1
course of treatment.
whitehead A very common type of skin
blemish (see milia).
white matter Tissue in the nervous sys-
tem composed of nerve fibres (
axons
).
White matter makes up the bulk of the
cerebrum (the
2
large hemispheres of
the
brain
) and continues down into the
spinal cord
; its main role is to transmit
nerve impulses. (See also
grey matter.)
WHITE MATTER
White matter
Cerebrum
Grey
matter
Brain stem
Cerebellum
Spinal cord
SECTION THROUGH BRAIN
whitlow An abscess on the fingertip or
toe, causing the finger to swell and be-
come extremely painful and sensitive to
pressure and touch. It most commonly
develops from acute
paronychia.
A whit-
low may be due to the virus that causes
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