(HealthDay News) — The positive rate of the glucose breath test is higher in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, especially Crohn’s disease, than in healthy controls, according to a study published online January 22 in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Ji Min Lee, MD, from St. Vincent’s Hospital in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues examined glucose breath test positivity in 107 patients aged >18 years with inflammatory bowel disease (64 with ulcerative colitis and 43 with Crohn’s disease). Patients completed symptom questionnaires, and disease activity was assessed based on fecal calprotectin level. Normal glucose breath test values were determined using 30 historical healthy controls.

The researchers found that 20.6% of patients were positive for the glucose breath test (30.2%, Crohn’s disease; 14.1% ulcerative colitis). For patients with Crohn’s disease, the positive rate of the glucose breath test was significantly higher than in healthy controls (30.2 vs. 6.7%; P=0.014). In glucose breath test-positive patients, bloating, flatus, and satiety were higher than in glucose breath test-negative patients (P=0.021, 0.014, and 0.049, respectively). There was no correlation between positivity and fecal calprotectin level.

“Glucose breath test can be used to manage intestinal symptoms of patients with inflammatory bowel disease,” the authors write.

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