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Correlation between symptoms developed after the oral ingestion of 50 g lactose and results of hydrogen breath testing for lactose intolerance


Beyerlein, L; Pohl, D; Delco, F; Stutz, B; Fried, M; Tutuian, R (2008). Correlation between symptoms developed after the oral ingestion of 50 g lactose and results of hydrogen breath testing for lactose intolerance. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 27(8):659-665.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Lactase deficiency is a common condition responsible for various abdominal symptoms. Lactose hydrogen breath test is currently the gold standard in diagnosing lactose intolerance. AIM: To assess sensitivity and specificity of symptoms developed after oral lactose challenge. METHODS: Intensity of nausea, abdominal pain, borborygmi, bloating and diarrhoea was recorded every 15 min up to 3 h after ingestion of 50 g lactose in patients with positive (i.e. breath H2-concentration > or =20 p.p.m. above baseline) and negative lactose hydrogen breath test. RESULTS: Between July 1999 and December 2005, 1127 patients (72% females) underwent lactose hydrogen breath test. A positive result was found in 376 (33%). Sensitivity of individual symptoms ranged from 39% (diarrhoea) to 70% (bloating) while specificity ranged from 69% (bloating) to 90% (diarrhoea). A positive lactose hydrogen breath test was found in 21% of patients with one symptom, 40% of patients with two symptoms, 44% of patients with three symptoms, 67% of patients with four symptoms and 82% of patients with five symptoms. Symptom intensity was significantly higher for each symptom in the positive group. CONCLUSION: Evaluating symptoms developed after ingestion of 50 g lactose can be used as a simple screening test to select patients who need to be referred for lactose intolerance testing.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Lactase deficiency is a common condition responsible for various abdominal symptoms. Lactose hydrogen breath test is currently the gold standard in diagnosing lactose intolerance. AIM: To assess sensitivity and specificity of symptoms developed after oral lactose challenge. METHODS: Intensity of nausea, abdominal pain, borborygmi, bloating and diarrhoea was recorded every 15 min up to 3 h after ingestion of 50 g lactose in patients with positive (i.e. breath H2-concentration > or =20 p.p.m. above baseline) and negative lactose hydrogen breath test. RESULTS: Between July 1999 and December 2005, 1127 patients (72% females) underwent lactose hydrogen breath test. A positive result was found in 376 (33%). Sensitivity of individual symptoms ranged from 39% (diarrhoea) to 70% (bloating) while specificity ranged from 69% (bloating) to 90% (diarrhoea). A positive lactose hydrogen breath test was found in 21% of patients with one symptom, 40% of patients with two symptoms, 44% of patients with three symptoms, 67% of patients with four symptoms and 82% of patients with five symptoms. Symptom intensity was significantly higher for each symptom in the positive group. CONCLUSION: Evaluating symptoms developed after ingestion of 50 g lactose can be used as a simple screening test to select patients who need to be referred for lactose intolerance testing.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:April 2008
Deposited On:27 Jan 2009 10:54
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:54
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0269-2813
Additional Information:The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2036.2008.03623.x
Official URL:http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/119401268/abstract
PubMed ID:18221409

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