Aim: To validate 4-sample lactose hydrogen breath testing (4SLHBT) compared to standard 13-sample LHBT in the clinical setting.
Methods: Irritable bowel syndrome patients with diarrhea (IBS-D) and healthy volunteers (HVs) were enrolled and received a 10 g, 20 g, or 40 g dose lactose hydrogen breath test (LHBT) in a randomized, double-blinded, controlled trial. The lactase gene promoter region was sequenced. Breath samples and symptoms were acquired at baseline and every 15 min for 3 h (13 measurements). The detection rates of lactose malabsorption (LM) and lactose intolerance (LI) for a 4SLHBT that acquired four measurements at 0, 90, 120, and 180 min from the same data set were compared with the results of standard LHBT.
Results: Sixty IBS-D patients and 60 HVs were studied. The genotype in all participants was C/C-13910. LM and LI detection rates increased with lactose dose from 10 g, 20 g to 40 g in both groups (P < 0.001). 4SLHBT showed excellent diagnostic concordance with standard LHBT (97%-100%, Kappa 0.815-0.942) with high sensitivity (90%-100%) and specificity (100%) at all three lactose doses in both groups.
Conclusion: Reducing the number of measurements from 13 to 4 samples did not significantly impact on the accuracy of LHBT in health and IBS-D. 4SLHBT is a valid test for assessment of LM and LI in clinical practice.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01286597.
Keywords: Diagnosis; Irritable bowel syndrome; Lactose hydrogen breath test; Lactose intolerance; Lactose malabsorption.