J Neurogastroenterol Motil.  2011 Jul;17(3):312-317.

How to Interpret Hydrogen Breath Tests

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India. udayghoshal@gmail.com

Abstract

Hydrogen breath tests using various substrates like glucose, lactulose, lactose and fructose are being used more and more to diagnose small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and lactose or fructose malabsorption. Though quantitative culture of jejunal aspirate is considered as gold standard for the diagnosis of SIBO, hydrogen breath tests, in spite of their low sensitivity, are popular for their non-invasiveness. Glucose hydrogen breath test is more acceptable for the diagnosis of SIBO as conventionally accepted double-peak criterion on lactulose hydrogen breath test is very insensitive and recently described early-peak criterion is often false positive. Hydrogen breath test is useful to diagnose various types of sugar malabsorption. Technique and interpretation of different hydrogen breath tests are outlined in this review.

Keyword

Breath tests; Hydrogen; Intestine, small; Irritable bowel syndrome

MeSH Terms

Breath Tests
Fructose
Glucose
Hydrogen
Intestine, Small
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Lactose
Lactulose
Fructose
Glucose
Hydrogen
Lactose
Lactulose
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