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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1986 Sep 15;189(6):674-9.

Use of pulmonary hydrogen gas excretion to detect carbohydrate malabsorption in dogs.


Pulmonary H2 excretion was measured in 10 healthy dogs, in 6 dogs with pancreatic exocrine insufficiency, and in 6 dogs with chronic small intestinal disease. Concentration of expired H2 in fasted healthy dogs was 0.9 +/- 0.1 ppm (mean +/- SEM) and peak H2 concentration of 1.4 +/- 0.2 ppm was detected up to 8 hours after feeding. Dogs with pancreatic exocrine insufficiency had fasting expired H2 concentrations of 3.3 +/- 0.9 ppm, which increased to a mean peak H2 concentration of 28.8 +/- 2.0 ppm 6.5 hours after feeding. Following xylose administration, expired H2 concentrations increased from fasting concentrations of 3.6 +/- 0.9 ppm to peak at 19.0 +/- 2.0 ppm in 1.5 hours. Blood xylose concentrations were diagnostic for carbohydrate malabsorption in 4 of 6 dogs with pancreatic exocrine insufficiency. Plasma p-aminobenzoic acid concentration identified bentiromide maldigestion in all dogs with pancreatic exocrine insufficiency. In 3 pancreatic exocrine insufficient dogs tested, pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy partially corrected carbohydrate malabsorption. Fasting expired H2 concentration was 5.3 +/- 1.3 ppm in dogs with chronic small intestinal disease and increased to a peak H2 of 72.2 +/- 18.0 ppm 7 hours after feeding. Following administration of xylose to dogs with chronic small intestinal disease, fasting expired H2 concentration increased from 3.0 +/- 1.0 ppm to a peak of 35.5 +/- 7.2 ppm at 2 hours. Blood xylose concentration was abnormal in only 2 of 6 dogs with chronic small intestinal disease. Results of these studies indicate that expired H2 analysis can identify carbohydrate malabsorption in dogs with pancreatic exocrine insufficiency or chronic small intestinal disease, and that pulmonary H2 testing is more sensitive than xylose absorption testing for the identification of carbohydrate malabsorption.

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