Small bowel transit time measured by hydrogen breath test in patients with anorexia nervosa

Dig Dis Sci. 1990 Jun;35(6):733-6. doi: 10.1007/BF01540176.


The gastrocecal transit time was measured in 10 patients suffering from anorexia nervosa, using a lactulose hydrogen breath test, and was compared with the orocecal transit time in 11 healthy controls. One of the 10 patients and one of the 11 controls were excluded from this study because of no discernible increase in hydrogen excretion. The transit time was significantly prolonged in patients with anorexia nervosa compared with controls (117 min +/- 31 SD vs 81 min +/- 33 SD, P less than 0.02). In addition to delayed gastric emptying, which has hitherto been well known, the small bowel transit time was considered to be prolonged in patients with anorexia nervosa. Both these abnormalities seem to contribute to the development of various gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with anorexia nervosa.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anorexia Nervosa / physiopathology*
  • Breath Tests* / methods
  • Cecum / physiopathology
  • Duodenum / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Transit*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen*
  • Intestine, Small / physiopathology*
  • Lactulose
  • Male
  • Reference Values
  • Respiration*
  • Time Factors


  • Lactulose
  • Hydrogen