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Scand J Gastroenterol. 1993 Mar;28(3):274-80.

Comparison between the lactulose/mannitol and 51Cr-ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid/14C-mannitol methods for intestinal permeability. Frequency distribution pattern and variability of markers and marker ratios in healthy subjects.

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Dept. of Internal Medicine, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


Urinary excretion of lactulose and mannitol, determined by gas-liquid chromatography, was compared with that of 51Cr-ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and 14C-mannitol for measurement of intestinal permeability in 28 healthy humans. The 0- to 6-h excretion values for unlabelled and labelled mannitol (marker of transcellular permeability) were normally distributed, whereas excretion values for lactulose and 51Cr-EDTA (markers of paracellular permeability) were skewly distributed, as were the lactulose to mannitol and 51Cr-EDTA to 14C-mannitol ratios. Excretion of the transcellular markers but not of the paracellular markers was significantly correlated to urinary volume; correction for urinary volume resulted in decreased test variability. Significant correlation was found between lactulose and 51Cr-EDTA excretion (p < 0.01) and between mannitol and 14C-mannitol excretion (p < 0.001) but not between the lactulose to mannitol and 51Cr-EDTA to 14C-mannitol ratios (p = 0.11). Inter- and intraindividual test variability was greater for each chemically determined marker than for the corresponding isotope-labelled marker. Similarly, variability was greater for each paracellular marker than for the corresponding transcellular marker and for each paracellular/transcellular marker ratio than for the transcellular marker alone. Variability of mannitol excretion was increased by the frequent presence of food-derived mannitol in the urine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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