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DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-84535-9; PMCID: PMC7921103


Abdominal pain has been associated with disaccharidase deficiencies. While relationships with individual symptoms have been assessed, relationships between disaccharidase deficiencies and symptom complexes or inflammation have not been evaluated in this group. The primary aims of the current study were to assess relationships between disaccharidase deficiency and symptoms or symptom complexes and duodenal inflammation, respectively. Patients with abdominal pain who underwent endoscopy with evaluation of disaccharidase activity levels were identified. After excluding all patients with inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, H. pylori, or gross endoscopic lesions, patients were evaluated for disaccharidase deficiency frequency. Disaccharidase were compared between patients with and without histologic duodenitis. Lastly, relationships between individual gastrointestinal symptoms or symptom complexes were evaluated. Lactase deficiency was found in 34.3% of patients and disaccharidase pan-deficiency in 7.6%. No individual symptoms or symptom complexes predicted disaccharidase deficiency. While duodenitis was not associated with disaccharidase deficiency, it was only present in 5.9% of patients. Disaccharidase deficiency, particularly lactase deficiency, is common in youth with abdominal pain and multiple deficiencies are not uncommon. Disaccharidase deficiency cannot be predicted by symptoms in this population. Further studies are needed to assess the clinical significance of disaccharidase deficiency.

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