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Am J Vet Res. 1991 Jul;52(7):1104-9.

Evaluation of carbohydrate malassimilation and intestinal transit time in cats by measurement of breath hydrogen excretion.

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Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bristol.


Techniques for the measurement of breath hydrogen excretion have been evaluated in dogs and the breath hydrogen test has been shown to be useful for clinical diagnosis and as a research tool. A simple method was developed for collection of expired air and measurement of breath hydrogen concentrations in cats, which enabled demonstration of carbohydrate malassimilation. Breath hydrogen concentrations were measured in healthy cats after food was withheld and after xylose and lactulose administration. Breath samples were collected by use of an open flow system with the cat confined in an acrylic plastic chamber. Breath hydrogen excretion did not exceed 0.53 ml of hydrogen/h in cats not fed. Breath hydrogen concentrations after the ingestion of xylose, a pentose sugar given orally at 0.75 g/kg of body weight, were not significantly higher from those of cats not fed. After ingestion of 3.35 g of lactulose, a nonabsorbable disaccharide, breath hydrogen excretion increased and breath hydrogen concentrations were significantly higher by 45 minutes (P less than 0.05) and 60 minutes (P less than 0.01) from breath hydrogen concentrations measured in cats not fed and after xylose administration. Administration of lactulose at an increased dosage resulted in further significant (P less than 0.01) increases in breath hydrogen excretion. In this study, mouth-to-cecum transit times were variable. A mean +/- SEM mouth-to-cecum transit time of 86 +/- 6 minutes was calculated from measurement of breath hydrogen excretion after oral administration of 3.35 g of lactulose.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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