Gastric permeability to sucrose is increased in portal hypertensive gastropathy

Maria Rosa Giofré, Giuseppe Meduri, Socrate Pallio, Salvatore Calandra, Antonio Magnano, Domenico Niceforo, Maurizio Cinquegrani, Vincenza Di Leo, Emanuela Mazzon, Giacomo Carlo Sturniolo, Giuseppe Longo, Walter Fries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Portal hypertensive gastropathy (PHG) is frequently found among patients with hepatic cirrhosis and at present the only way to detect and follow PHG is via endoscopy. Objective. To assess gastric and intestinal permeability and investigate its relationship to endoscopic findings and indices of portal hypertension and hepatic function. Design and methods. Thirty-one non-diabetic patients with hepatic cirrhosis and PHG (PHG+) were studied and compared with 17 cirrhotic patients without PHG (PHG-). All patients underwent endoscopy for the assessment of PHG and Helicobacter pylori status, ultrasound determination of the diameters of spleen and portal vein, and, subsequently, an oral load of sucrose, lactulose, and mannitol. Sugar concentrations were determined in 6-h urine specimens and expressed as a percentage of the orally administered dose or as lactulose/mannitol ratio. Results. The urinary sucrose excretion was significantly elevated in patients with PHG compared to those without (PHG+, 0.20% ± 0.03; PHG-, 0.07% ± 0.01; P <0.001). No difference was found for the small intestinal probes lactulose and mannitol. Gastric sucrose permeability correlated positively with the endoscopic lesion score (P <0.001), but not with other parameters of portal hypertension or hepatic function. H. pylori status did not influence gastric permeability. The sensitivity of this test reached 100% for PHG scores > 2. Conclusions. Gastric permeability to sucrose is increased in patients with PHG, independently of the presence of H. pylori. Sucrose permeability may be useful for the follow-up of patients with PHG. (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-533
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Epithelial permeability
  • Lactulose
  • Mannitol
  • Portal hypertension
  • Sucrose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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