Small bowel (small intestine)
Malabsorption
Disaccharidase (lactase) deficiency


Topic Completed: 1 August 2012

Revised: 8 March 2019

Copyright: 2003-2019, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Disaccharidase lactase deficiency small bowel
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Cite this page: Gulwani H. Disaccharidase (lactase) deficiency. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/smallboweldisaccharidasedef.html. Accessed May 23rd, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Disaccharidases are located in apical cell membrane of villous absorptive epithelial cells

Congenital deficiency:
  • Rare; malabsorption evident with milk feeding, which causes explosive, watery, frothy stools and abdominal distention

Acquired deficiency:
  • Common in North American blacks
  • Causes osmotic diarrhea
  • Acquired deficiency of lactase also occurs in duodenal mucosa of children with celiac disease (J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2008;23:e348)
Diagnosis
  • Increased hydrogen in breath test due to bacterial fermentation of undigested lactose
Treatment
  • Dietary elimination of milk and milk products
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