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J Clin Gastroenterol. 1985 Jun;7(3):232-6.

Small intestinal permeability as an indicator of jejunal mucosal recovery in patients with celiac sprue on a gluten-free diet.


Lactulose/mannitol excretion ratios were measured in 13 patients with celiac disease at diagnosis and after 5-8 months on a gluten-free diet. Jejunal biopsies were assessed histologically at diagnosis and during treatment. The excretion ratios in untreated patients were significantly higher than in 25 normal controls (P less than 0.01). On the diet, the excretion ratios fell in every patient, but in only eight did the ratio return to normal. There was a good correlation between the ratio and jejunal histological grading. During treatment, the ratios significantly inversely correlated with jejunal villous height/mucosal thickness ratios (P less than 0.001). Therefore, excretion ratios provide a well-tolerated noninvasive means of assessing the jejunal mucosa in patients with celiac disease on a gluten-free diet.

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