13C Sucrose breath test as a biomarker of environmental enteric dysfunction in infants – A cross sectional study (Funded by: International Atomic Energy Agency)

Linear growth faltering starts in early infancy and tracks up till 5 years of age, leading to stunting as an adverse consequence. In recent years, Environmental Enteric Dysfunction (EED), a condition with the potential for suboptimal small intestinal functioning, has been implicated as a major contributor in stunting. Nevertheless, the diagnosis of EED lacks clarity and exploring novel diagnostic tools that are feasible in a field setting, is the need of the hour. Stable isotopic techniques offer the best solution, especially in vulnerable population, as they are safe and could be designed to be non-invasive. In this context, the present study proposes a 13C-labeled sucrose breath test as a diagnostic tool for EED, compared against a widely accepted assay of intestinal permeability, the dual sugar absorption test.

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