Sacrosidase therapy for congenital sucrase-isomaltase deficiency

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1999 Feb;28(2):137-42. doi: 10.1097/00005176-199902000-00008.


Background: The purpose of this study was to determine if sacrosidase, a liquid produced from Saccharomyces cerevisiae containing 6000 IU of sucrase activity per mg protein, prevented symptoms of diarrhea, abdominal cramps, gas, and bloating in patients with congenital sucrase-isomaltase deficiency (CSID) consuming a normal sucrose and carbohydrate-containing diet.

Methods: Twenty-eight children (aged 5 months to 11 years) underwent a randomized, double-blind trial consisting of two phases: 1) three sucrose breath H2 tests with three single-dose treatments (placebo, sacrosidase, and sacrosidase plus milk), and 2) a dose-response phase consisting of four multidose treatments, each for 10 days of full-strength sacrosidase, 1:10 dilution, 1:100 dilution, and 1:1000 dilution. Patients who weighed less than or equal to 15 kg received a dose of sacrosidase and those who weighed more than 15 kg received 2 ml. For the dose-response phase each patient consumed a normal diet. The number of stools and severity of symptoms were recorded daily for each concentration of sacrosidase administered and compared to a baseline period during which the patient took no sacrosidase and consumed a sucrose/starch-free diet. Data were analyzed using an ANOVA model and the nonparameter Wilcoxon signed-rank test.

Results: Breath H2 excretion decreased significantly when patients received sacrosidase or sacrosidase plus milk compared to placebo during sucrose breath tests. During the dose-response phase significant treatment differences were observed between the two higher concentrations and the two lower concentrations of sacrosidase for both total stools (p < 0.001) and total symptom score (p = 0.003). Higher concentrations of sacrosidase were associated with fewer stools and a greater number of formed or hard stools compared to lower concentrations and compared to the baseline period. Higher concentrations were also associated with fewer symptoms of gas, abdominal cramps, or bloating, but no differences in vomiting. The only significant adverse event was wheezing in one child with a history of asthma.

Conclusions: Sacrosidase is a safe, effective, well-accepted treatment to prevent gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with CSID consuming a normal diet.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breath Tests
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism, Inborn Errors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diarrhea / drug therapy
  • Diarrhea / etiology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen / analysis
  • Infant
  • Kinetics
  • Milk
  • Placebos
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / enzymology*
  • Sucrase / administration & dosage
  • Sucrase / therapeutic use*
  • Sucrase-Isomaltase Complex / deficiency*
  • Sucrose / metabolism


  • Placebos
  • Sucrose
  • Hydrogen
  • Sucrase-Isomaltase Complex
  • Sucrase