Is small-bowel bacterial overgrowth an underdiagnosed disorder in children with gastrointestinal symptoms?

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2011 May;52(5):632-4. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e31820d5c16.


Small-bowel bacterial overgrowth (SBBO) has been implicated in chronic abdominal pain and irritable bowel syndrome in children. This was a retrospective study that aimed to assess the occurrence of SBBO by the lactulose breath hydrogen test in children referred primarily for investigation of carbohydrate malabsorption (n = 287). There were profiles indicative of SBBO in 16% (39/250) of hydrogen-producing children. This indicated that SBBO may be more common in children with gastrointestinal symptoms and apparent carbohydrate malabsorption than previously recognised.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / microbiology
  • Adolescent
  • Blind Loop Syndrome / complications
  • Blind Loop Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Breath Tests
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diagnostic Errors*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen / metabolism
  • Infant
  • Intestine, Small / microbiology*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / microbiology*
  • Lactulose / metabolism*
  • Malabsorption Syndromes / microbiology*
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Lactulose
  • Hydrogen