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Small bowel (small intestine)

Malabsorption

Disaccharidase (lactase) deficiency


Reviewer: Hanni Gulwani, M.D. (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 14 December 2012, last major update August 2012
Copyright: (c) 2003-2012, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

General
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● 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;23:348)

Diagnosis
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● Increased hydrogen in breath test due to bacterial fermentation of undigested lactose

Treatment
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● Dietary elimination of milk and milk products

End of Small bowel (small intestine) > Malabsorption > Disaccharidase (lactase) deficiency


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