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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 7952891, 12 pages
Research Article

Use of the Biphasic 13C-Sucrose/Glucose Breath Test to Assess Sucrose Maldigestion in Adults with Functional Bowel Disorders

1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA
2Division of Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Hepatology, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA

Received 19 March 2016; Accepted 10 July 2016

Academic Editor: Louise E. Glover

Copyright © 2016 Antone R. Opekun et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Sucrase insufficiency has been observed in children with of functional bowel disorders (FBD) and symptoms of dietary carbohydrate intolerance may be indistinguishable from those of FBD. A two-phase 13C-sucrose/13C-glucose breath test (13C-S/GBT) was used to assess sucrase activity because disaccharidase assays are seldom performed in adults. When 13C-sucrose is hydrolyzed to liberate monosaccharides, oxidation to 13CO2 is a proportional indicator of sucrase activity. Subsequently, 13C-glucose oxidation rate was determined after a secondary substrate ingestion (superdose) to adjust for individual habitus effects (Phase II). 13CO2 enrichment recovery ratio from 13C-sucrose and secondary 13C-glucose loads reflect the individualized sucrase activity [Coefficient of Glucose Oxidation for Sucrose (CGO-S)]. To determine if sucrase insufficiency could be a factor in FBD, 13C-S/GBT was validated using subjects with known sucrase gene mutation status by comparing 13CO2-breath enrichment with plasma 13C-glucose enrichment. 13C-S/GBT was used to assess sucrose digestion in FBD patients and asymptomatic controls. 13CO2-breath enrichment correlated with the appearance of 13C-sucrose-derived glucose in plasma (). Mean, control group CGO-S-enrichment outcomes were 1.01 at 60′, 0.92 at 75′, and 0.96 at mean 60′–75′ with normal CGO-S defined as >0.85 (95% C.I.). In contrast, FBD patients demonstrated lower CGO-S values of 0.77 at 60′, 0.77 at 75′, and 0.76 at mean 60′–75′ (Chi Square: 6.55; ), which points to sucrose maldigestion as a cause of FBD.