Korean J Gastroenterol.  1998 Oct;32(4):458-465.

Intestinal Permeability in Patients with Crohn's Disease and Their Relatives


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Increased intestinal permeability has been proposed as an etiological factor of Crohn's disease (CD). This disease is rare in Korea, but has been increased recently. The aim of this study is to determine whether intestinal permeability in first-degree relatives of patients with CD is increased, and whether the degree of intestinal permeability is correlated with the severity of CD.
Lactulose-mannitol ratio (L/M), a measure of intestinal permeability, was determined after ingestion of aspirin, which can enhance the intestinal permeability. In this study, 14 patients with CD, 14 first-degree relatives of patients with CD and 14 healthy controls were included. The severity of CD was classified by Harvey-Bradshaw Index.
The L/M was significantly increased in patients with CD, compared with that of a healtby control group (p =0.02). Seven of the 14 patients with CD (50%, p= 0,003) and four of the 14 first-degree relatives (29%, p =0.04) had L/M ratios above the mean value of the controls. The L/M was not correlated with the severity index of CD.
The subpopulation (29%) of the first-degree relatives of patients with CD showed significantly increased intestinal permeability. These results support that a familial defect of intestinal permeability predisposes to CD in Korea.


Intestinal permeability; Crohn's disease
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