Reversibility of increased intestinal permeability to 51Cr-EDTA in patients with gastrointestinal inflammatory diseases

Am J Gastroenterol. 1987 Nov;82(11):1159-64.


Intestinal permeability in adults with inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases was investigated by measuring the 24-h urinary excretion of orally administered 51Cr-EDTA. Eighty controls along with 100 patients with Crohn's disease, 46 patients with ulcerative colitis, 20 patients with gluten-sensitive enteropathy, and 18 patients with other diseases were studied. In controls, the median 24-h excretion was 1.34%/24 h of the oral dose. Patients with Crohn's disease (median 2.96%/24 h), ulcerative colitis (median 2.12%/24 h), and untreated gluten-sensitive enteropathy (median 3.56%/24 h) had significantly elevated urinary excretion of the probe compared to controls (p less than 0.0001). Increased 24-h urinary excretion of 51Cr-EDTA had a high association with intestinal inflammation (p less than 0.0001). Test specificity and sensitivity were 96% and 57%, respectively. A positive test has a 96% probability of correctly diagnosing the presence of intestinal inflammation, whereas a negative test has a 50% probability of predicting the absence of disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chromium Radioisotopes
  • Edetic Acid* / urine
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / diagnosis
  • Intestinal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Permeability
  • Statistics as Topic


  • Chromium Radioisotopes
  • Edetic Acid