tests of carbohydrate absorption

FREE subscriptions for doctors and students... click here
You have 3 more open access pages.

The following investigations test the ability of the small bowel to absorb carbohydrates:

  • xylose absorption test:
    • directly tests the ability to absorb monosaccharides

  • glucose tolerance test:
    • typically flat in impaired small bowel function
    • poor specificity and not widely used

  • disaccharidase test:
    • glucose in the disaccharide is absorbed more slowly than when ingested as a monosaccharide

  • disaccharide breath tests:
    • most commonly lactose is given

  • direct disaccharidase activity tests:
    • enzyme activity may be assessed directly from biopsy samples of mucosa

Last reviewed 01/2018