Background & aim: Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease with the damage of the intestinal barrier. The aim of study was to measure gut permeability in patients with untreated celiac disease and during treatment with a gluten free diet.
Methods: 30 patients with celiac disease before and during treatment with gluten-free diet were investigated, 30 patients without organic damage of the gastrointestinal tract served as control. Small bowel permeability was measured using lactulose/mannitol and lactulose/D-xylose ratios. The saccharides were examined in the 5 hours collected urine using capillary gas chromatography.
Results: Small bowel permeability (indices lactulose/mannitol and/or lactulose/xylose) increased significantly in patients with untreated celiac disease. 23 patients were followed up before and during treatment with a gluten-free diet 2-6 months after beginning of this treatment and small bowel permeability (measured as indices lactulose/mannitol and/or lactulose/xylose) significantly decreased.
Conclusion: Small bowel permeability test is a non-invasive test suitable for the diagnosis of celiac disease and monitoring of compliance to a gluten-free diet in these patients.