Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Intestinal permeability in children with Crohn's disease and coeliac disease.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 285 doi: (Published 03 July 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;285:20
  1. A D Pearson,
  2. E J Eastham,
  3. M F Laker,
  4. A W Craft,
  5. R Nelson


    Mannitol and lactulose were used as probe molecules to measure intestinal permeability in children with active small-bowel Crohn's disease and with untreated coeliac disease. Mannitol and lactulose were administered by mouth in a moderately hypertonic solution (580 mmol (mosmol)/l), and results were expressed as the ratio of the molecules excreted in urine over five hours. Patients with Crohn's disease had a sixfold increase in permeability (due to increased lactulose permeability) and those with coeliac disease a fivefold increase (due to decreased mannitol permeability). From these results the test offers potential as a noninvasive investigation in children with small-bowel disease.