Over the past decades evidence has been accumulating that intestinal barrier integrity loss plays a key role in the development and perpetuation of a variety of disease states including inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease, and is a key player in the onset of sepsis and multiple organ failure in situations of intestinal hypoperfusion, including trauma and major surgery. Insight into gut barrier integrity and function loss is important to improve our knowledge on disease etiology and pathophysiology and contributes to early detection and/or secondary prevention of disease. A variety of tests have been developed to assess intestinal epithelial cell damage, intestinal tight junction status and consequences of intestinal barrier integrity loss, i.e. increased intestinal permeability. This review discusses currently available methods for evaluating loss of human intestinal barrier integrity and function.
Keywords: Intestinal barrier function; Intestinal integrity; Intestinal permeability; Markers.