Investigation of small-intestinal transit time in normal and malnourished children

J Gastroenterol. 1999 Dec;34(6):675-9. doi: 10.1007/s005350050318.


We aimed to establish whether there was a variation in orocecal transit time (OCTT) in Myanmar children and whether shortened transit time correlated with malnutrition. OCTT was measured in 90 healthy Myanmar children aged 1-5 years, using the hydrogen breath test (10g in 10% aqueous solution). The relationships between OCTT, sex, age, and malnutrition status were assessed. OCTT for 1 to 5-year old children was 90.2 +/- 20min (mean +/- SD). There was no significant difference in mean OCTT between boys and girls, breast-fed and weaned children, malnourished and non-malnourished children. There was also no difference between age groups (1-2 years, 2-3 years, 3-4 years, and 4-5 years), and no correlation was found between age and orocecal transit time. The assessment of OCTT using the lactulose breath hydrogen test was found to be feasible and acceptable in the field setting. The OCTT of Myanmar children with rice as a staple food is similar to that of children from developed countries having a different diet, and no shortening of transit time was demonstrated in children with malnutrition.

MeSH terms

  • Breath Tests
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Transit / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Myanmar
  • Nutrition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Oryza