Intestinal permeability has been studied in small groups of IBS patients with contrasting findings.
Professor Mujagic and colleagues from Netherlands assessed intestinal permeability at different sites of the GI tract in different subtypes of well-characterized IBS patients and healthy controls, and assessed potential confounding factors.
IBS patients and healthy controls underwent a multi-sugar test to assess site-specific intestinal permeability.
Sucrose excretion and lactulose/rhamnose ratio in 0–5 hour urine indicated gastroduodenal and small intestinal permeability, respectively.
Sucralose/erythritol ratio in 0–24 hour and 5–24 hour urine indicated whole gut and colonic permeability, respectively.
|The lactulose/rhamnose ratio was increased in IBS-D|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
Linear regression analysis was used to assess the association between IBS groups and intestinal permeability and to adjust for age, sex, BMI, anxiety or depression, smoking, alcohol intake and use of medication.
The research team enrolled 91 IBS patients, and 94 healthy controls.
The team found that urinary sucrose excretion was significantly increased in the total IBS group, as well as in IBS-C and IBS-D vs. healthy controls.
However, differences attenuated when adjusting for confounders.
The research team found that the lactulose/rhamnose ratio was increased in IBS-D vs. healthy controls, which remained significant after adjustment for confounders.
The team found no difference in 0–24 and 5–24 hour sucralose/erythritol ratio between groups.
Professor Mujagic's team commented, "Small intestinal permeability is increased in patients with IBS-D compared to healthy controls, irrespective of confounding factors."
"Adjustment for confounders is necessary when studying intestinal permeability, especially in a heterogeneous disorder such as IBS."