Influence of urine volume on the assessment of intestinal permeability in affected children by multiple sugar probes

Riccardo Addobbati, Lorella Pascolo, Nicola Di Toro, Giulia B. Sebastiani, Stefano Martellossi, Tarcisio Not

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In this study we have looked at the reliability of a multi-sugar test in a pediatric patient population and its accuracy at small urine volumes to evaluate intestinal permeability. Methods: Out of 117 subjects enrolled, 31 were healthy and 86 were sick. A solution containing lactulose, rhamnose, sucrose, and sucralose was administered to subjects who were on fasting; the urine excreted during 5 h was collected and measured. Samples were analyzed by gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and results were expressed as percentage of sugar recoveries and lactulose/ rhamnose (L/R) ratio. Results: The analyses showed a clear effect of low urinary volumes ( = 240 mL) particularly affecting rhamnose excretion in healthy subjects and sucrose and sucralose recovery in diseased children. Despite the low rhamnose recovery, as lactulose is not similarly affected, the diagnostic reliability of L/R ratio is well preserved at low diuresis conditions. However, this ratio can be useful to discriminate acute conditions vs. clinical remissions only at high urine volumes. Data also suggest potential diagnostic applicability of sucrose and sucralose in children at high urine volumes. Conclusions: In conclusion, the multi-sugar test has a good predictivity in pediatric subjects but results must be carefully interpreted in the face of reduced diuresis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-235
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Intestinal permeability
  • Pediatrics
  • Sugar test
  • Sugar urinary test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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