Table of Contents

HK J Paediatr (New Series)
Vol 4. No. 1, 1999

HK J Paediatr (New Series) 1999;4:10-15

Original Article

Lactose Malabsorption by Breath H2 Test in Chinese Children

FHW Wong, CY Yeung, AYC Tam, KW Fung


280 Chinese school children were investigated for lactose malabsorption by the breath hydrogen (H2) test. A modified anaesthetic bag system was developed to obtain the end-expiratory fraction of the expired air for the test. This has proven to be a highly efficient equipment to obtain the end-expiratory portion of a single breath from children. An oral lactose load of 1 gm/kg body weight was used, and the response in the rise of breath H2 was studied. The results showed two children populations, with an apparent cut-off point of 20 ppm which is the conventional criteria for distinguishing the lactose-absorbers from the malabsorbers, with the latter demonstrating higher breath H2 responses. Blood glucose profile studies have also validated the breath H2 test to be useful in identifying lactose malabsorption in children. The frequency of lactose malabsorption in Chinese children as inferred by the breath H2 test was found to rise from 21% at 3-5 years to over 57% beyond 6 years of age. Milk produced less breath H2 than equivalent amount of aqueous lactose in the same children studied.

Keyword : Breath H2 test; Chinese children; Lactose malabsorption; Milk versus pure lactose

Abstract in Chinese


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