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Am J Clin Oncol. 2008 Dec;31(6):580-4. doi: 10.1097/COC.0b013e318174dbb9.

Intestinal permeability and vitamin A absorption in patients with chemotherapy-induced diarrhea.

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Department of Oncology and Radiotherapy, Charles University Medical School and Teaching Hospital, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic.



Gastrointestinal toxicity is one of the most common side effects of anticancer therapy. Measurement of intestinal permeability represents one of the potential methods of noninvasive laboratory assessment of gastrointestinal toxicity. The aim of the present study was to investigate intestinal permeability and vitamin A absorption in patients with chemotherapy-induced diarrhea (CID).


We have assessed intestinal permeability, by measuring absorption of lactulose, mannitol, xylose, and vitamin A absorption, in 11 patients with CID, 10 healthy controls, and 24 untreated patients with gastrointestinal tumors. Urinary lactulose, mannitol and xylose were measured by capillary gas chromatography and serum retinol and retinyl esters were determined by high performance liquid chromatography. The results obtained in patients and controls were compared by Mann-Whitney U test.


Lactulose/mannitol and lactulose/xylose ratios were increased and retinol esters (retinyl palmitate and retinyl stearate) were decreased significantly in patients with CID.


Measurements of intestinal permeability and vitamin A absorption may represent sensitive tools in the assessment of CID.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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