What is the role of oral tolerance tests in the diagnosis of celiac disease (sprue)?

Updated: Nov 29, 2019
  • Author: Stephan U Goebel, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Excretion of breath hydrogen, a product of bacterial fermentation of unabsorbed lactose, is often elevated in celiac disease.

The oral D-xylose tolerance test can reveal carbohydrate malabsorption. D-xylose is absorbed preferentially in the proximal small intestine and excreted unmetabolized in the urine. In untreated celiac disease, urinary D-xylose excretion and peak blood xylose levels are depressed.

Lactose tolerance is another oral tolerance test.


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