Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Gastroenterol. 2002;37(6):442-8.

Efficacy of lactulose plus 13C-acetate breath test in the diagnosis of gastrointestinal motility disorders.

Author information

  • 1First Department of Internal Medicine, Toho University, School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.



We designed a new method of measuring gastric emptying and orocecal transit time (OCTT) at the same time to assess the influence of gastric emptying upon OCTT.


Twenty-five dyspeptic patients (6 men, 19 women) with a mean age of 64.8 years (range, 25-80 years) were studied. The patients received a liquid test meal, containing 100 mg of 13C-acetate and 12g of lactulose, while they were in the sitting position after an overnight fast. Breath samples were collected at 10-min intervals of 120 min and both 13CO2 and hydrogen (H2) levels were measured. Subsequently, H2 concentrations were measured at 30-min intervals, for a total of 240 min.


The results of gastric emptying were expressed as the time of peak 13CO2 excretion. OCTT was defined as the period between the ingestion of lactulose and a H2 peak rise of 5 ppm above the baseline value. The onset of H2 enrichment in the breath began at 90-110 min, whereas 13CO2 levels increased from the beginning, with peak enrichment values being reached after 60-80 min. OCTT was related to 13CO2 peak time. In 5 of the 25 patients, H2 breath enrichment in the 10-min sample was more than 5 ppm over the baseline value. All these 5 patients had double or triple peaks in serial breath H2 concentrations.


The combination of the lactulose hydrogen breath test (LHBT) with the 13C-acetate breath test, which requires only breath samples, provides us with much information on the gastrointestinal tract; gastric emptying, OCTT, bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, colonic fermentation, and oropharyngeal flora. The 13C-acetate breath test can be useful as an adjuvant test when LHBT is performed for measuring OCTT.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk