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See 1 citation in 1996 by Mougi:

Bull World Health Organ. 1996;74(5):471-7.

Efficacy of standard glucose-based and reduced-osmolarity maltodextrin-based oral rehydration solutions: effect of sugar malabsorption.

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Department of Paediatrics, Bab El-Sha'reya Hospital, Alazhar Faculty of Medicine, Cairo, Egypt.


Previously we reported that standard oral rehydration salts (ORS) solution is not as effective as a reduced-osmolarity glucose-based ORS for the treatment of children with acute noncholera diarrhoea: with standard ORS the diarrhoea lasts longer, stool output is greater, serum sodium is higher, and there is more need for supplemental intravenous infusion. We studied a reduced-osmolarity maltodextrin (MD)-based ORS to determine whether it had similar benefits, and also the effect of sugar malabsorption on the efficacy of standard and MD-based ORS. A total of 90 boys aged 3-24 months with acute noncholera diarrhoea and moderate dehydration were randomly assigned to either standard ORS (glucose 20 g/l, osmolarity 311 mmol/l) or MD-ORS (MD 50 g/l, osmolarity 227 mmol/l). There were no differences in treatment results. Some 46% of subjects had a high total stool output (> 300 g/kg), which was unrelated to the type of ORS given. High stool output was significantly associated with a longer duration of diarrhoea (33 vs. 15 hours; P < 0.001), a persistently elevated serum sodium (149 vs. 144 mmol/l at 24 h; P < 0.02), the need for intravenous infusion (11/41 vs. 0/48; P < 0.002), and an increase in faecal reducing substances (10.8 vs. 3.4 g/l at 24 h; P < 0.001). We conclude that some children given standard ORS develop osmotic diarrhoea owing to the combined effect of transient sugar malabsorption and slight hypertonicity of the ORS. Earlier studies show that this adverse outcome can largely be avoided when extra water is given in reduced-osmolarity glucose-based ORS. Reduced osmolarity has no benefit, however, when glucose is replaced by maltodextrin, probably because the sugars released by hydrolysis of MD, when malabsorbed, raise the intraluminal osmolarity to equal or exceed that of standard ORS. Thus, reduced-osmolarity glucose-based ORS is superior to both standard ORS and reduced-osmolarity solutions based on maltodextrin and probably other complex carbohydrates. Studies are in progress to define the optimal formulation of reduced-osmolarity glucose-based ORS.


At the Diarrhoeal Disease Research and Rehydration Centre of Bab El-Sha'reya Hospital in Cairo, Egypt, clinical researchers randomly assigned 90 fully weaned boys aged 3-24 months with non-cholera diarrhea and signs of moderate dehydration to either the treatment group receiving the standard glucose-based oral rehydration solution (ORS) or the group receiving a reduced-osmolarity ORS with minimally hydrolyzed maltodextrins (MD) (50 g/l) in place of glucose (20 g/l). They wanted to determine whether the reduced-osmolarity, MD-based ORS yielded similar benefits as the glucose-based ORS and to examine the effect of sugar malabsorption on the efficacy of both solutions. The osmolarity of the MD-based ORS was 227 mmol/l compared to 311 mmol/l for the standard ORS. There were no significant differences in the clinical outcomes (duration of diarrhea, stool output, ORS intake, serum sodium level, and weight gain at discharge) for each treatment group. High stool output had a significant positive association with longer duration of diarrhea (33 vs. 15 hours for low stool output; p 0.01), a persistently elevated serum sodium concentration (149 vs. 144 mmol/l for low stool output; p 0.02), the need for intravenous infusion (11/41 vs. 0/48 for low stool output; p 0.002), and an increase in substances that reduce feces (10.8 vs. 3.4 g/l for low stool output; p 0.001). Based on these findings, the researchers hypothesized that, like the standard ORS, the reduced osmolarity ORS, in which glucose is replaced with MD, also caused sugar malabsorption. The sugar malabsorption, in turn, increased the effective intraluminal osmolarity to equal or exceed that of the standard ORS. Both sugar malabsorption and intraluminal hypertonicity were responsible for a net flow of water from extracellular fluid into the gut, an increased serum sodium concentration, increased thirst leading to greater intake of ORS, ORS treatment failure, an increase in stool output, and an increase in duration of diarrhea. In conclusion, reduced-osmolarity, glucose-based ORS is superior to the standard glucose-based ORS and reduced-osmolarity, MD-based ORS.

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