Aim: To compare the effects of a standard oral rehydration solution with a polymeric glucose isotonic solution enriched with glutamine on water and sodium absorption in the short bowel.
Methods: Six patients with high jejunostomy were tested in a random order on 2 consecutive days with the standard solution (20 g/L glucose, 94 mmol/L sodium, 292 mOsm/kg osmolality) and a solution containing maltodextrins (18 g/L Glucidex 12; hydrolysis of 18 g of Glucidex 12 yields 20 g glucose) enriched with 14.6 g/L of glutamine (94 mmol/L sodium, 282 mOsm/kg osmolality). Solutions were administered via a naso-gastric tube at a rate of 2 mL/min. Jejunal effluent for each solution was collected during an 8-h period, after a 14-h equilibrium period.
Results: The net 8-h fluid absorption was not significantly different between the standard solution and the solution with glutamine (333 +/- 195 and 213 +/- 251 mL, respectively (mean +/- S.E.M.)). Net sodium absorption was higher for the standard solution than for the solution with glutamine (15 +/- 15 vs. 2 +/- 20 mmol, P < 0.05). The rate of glucose absorption was not different between the solutions.
Conclusion: The replacement of glucose by maltodextrins and the addition of glutamine to the standard oral rehydration solution, without changing its sodium content or osmolality, results in a reduction of sodium absorption in the short-bowel syndrome.