OPEN IN READ APP
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Applicability of short hydrogen breath test for screening of lactose malabsorption

F Casellas, J R Malagelada
Digestive Diseases and Sciences 2003, 48 (7): 1333-8
12870791
The gold standard for diagnosing lactose malabsorption is the H2 hydrogen breath test (HBT). Different methods of HBT have been proposed. However, in clinical practice the HBT is often shortened to 1-2 hr without proper validation. Our objective was to establish whether the usefulness of the HBT is influenced by shortening of the test and/or by substrate variations. In 62 patients with clinically suspected lactose intolerance and a positive lactose HBT we calculated the sensitivity of the HBT depending on the duration of the HBT. To determine whether substrate variations influence the sensitivity of the HBT, in another group of 32 patients with clinically suspected lactose intolerance and a positive milk HBT, the sensitivity of the HBT was also calculated depending on the duration of the test after milk ingestion. In other unselected 97 individuals, the result of the HBT with 360 ml of whole milk supplemented with lactose was compared with a symptomatic score for lactose intolerance to evaluate the specificity of the shortened milk HBT. Breath H2 excretion was significantly higher after lactose than after milk load (P < 0.01), and the increase in H2 appeared earlier with lactose than with milk (60 vs 90, min respectively). HBT duration influenced the sensitivity of the test that decreased from 95% for the 3-hr HBT to 37% for the 1-hr HBT with lactose and from 80% for 3-hr HBT to 21% for 1-hr HBT with milk. The specificity was similar for the 3-hr milk HBT and the 5-hr test (67 vs 62%). In conclusion, for screening of lactose malabsorption, the HBT can be shortened to 3 hr without loss of sensitivity and specificity, when a high dose of lactose load is used.

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
12870791
×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"