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Gas chromatographic method for detection of urinary sucralose: application to the assessment of intestinal permeability.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Digestive Diseases, Rush University Medical Center, 60612, Chicago, IL, USA.


We developed a capillary column gas chromatography (CCGC) method for the measurement of urinary sucralose (S) and three other sugar probes including, sucrose, lactulose (L) and mannitol (M) for use in in vivo studies of intestinal permeability. We compared the capillary method with a packed column gas chromatography (PCGC) method. We also investigated a possible role for sucralose as a probe for the measurement of whole gut permeability. Sample preparation was rapid and simple. The above four sugars were detected precisely, without interference. We measured intestinal permeability using 5- and 24-h urine collections in 14 healthy volunteers. The metabolism of sugars was evaluated by incubating the intestinal bacteria with an iso-osmolar mixture of mannitol, lactulose and sucralose at 37 degrees C for 19 h. Sugar concentrations and the pH of the mixture were monitored. The use of the CCGC method improved the detection of sucralose as compared to PCGC. The average coefficient of variation decreased from 15% to 4%. It also increased the sensitivity of detection by 200-2000-fold. The GC assay was linear between sucralose concentrations of 0.2 and 40 g/l (r=1.000). Intestinal bacteria metabolized lactulose and acidified the media but did not metabolize sucralose or mannitol. The new method for the measurement of urinary sucralose permits the simultaneous quantitation of sucrose, mannitol and lactulose, and is rapid, simple, sensitive, accurate and reproducible. Because neither S nor M is metabolized by intestinal bacteria, and because only a tiny fraction of either sugar is absorbed, this pair of sugar probes appears to be available for absorption throughout the GI tract. Thus, the 24-h urinary concentrations of S and M, or the urinary S/M ratio following an oral dose of a sugar mixture, might be good markers for whole gut permeability.

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