Four-sample lactose hydrogen breath test for diagnosis of lactose malabsorption in irritable bowel syndrome patients with diarrhea

Jian-Feng Yang, Mark Fox, Hua Chu, Xia Zheng, Yan-Qin Long, Daniel Pohl, Michael Fried, Ning Dai
World Journal of Gastroenterology: WJG 2015 June 28, 21 (24): 7563-70

AIM: To validate 4-sample lactose hydrogen breath testing (4SLHBT) compared to standard 13-sample LHBT in the clinical setting.

METHODS: Irritable bowel syndrome patients with diarrhea (IBS-D) and healthy volunteers (HVs) were enrolled and received a 10 g, 20 g, or 40 g dose lactose hydrogen breath test (LHBT) in a randomized, double-blinded, controlled trial. The lactase gene promoter region was sequenced. Breath samples and symptoms were acquired at baseline and every 15 min for 3 h (13 measurements). The detection rates of lactose malabsorption (LM) and lactose intolerance (LI) for a 4SLHBT that acquired four measurements at 0, 90, 120, and 180 min from the same data set were compared with the results of standard LHBT.

RESULTS: Sixty IBS-D patients and 60 HVs were studied. The genotype in all participants was C/C-13910. LM and LI detection rates increased with lactose dose from 10 g, 20 g to 40 g in both groups (P < 0.001). 4SLHBT showed excellent diagnostic concordance with standard LHBT (97%-100%, Kappa​​ 0.815-0.942) with high sensitivity (90%-100%) and specificity (100%) at all three lactose doses in both groups.

CONCLUSION: Reducing the number of measurements from 13 to 4 samples did not significantly impact on the accuracy of LHBT in health and IBS-D. 4SLHBT is a valid test for assessment of LM and LI in clinical practice.

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