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Laboratory Diagnosis

Test for fat malabsorption

  1. Microscopic examination of stool for fat
  2. 72 hr quantitative estimation official fat [Gold standard]
  3. 14CO2 breath test
  4. Acid steato crit

Presence of more than 6-1) fat droplets per low power field is considered suggestive of fat malabsorption.


Normal adult dietary intake of 60 to 100 gm of fat


This is approximately equivalent to excretory rate of < 6 gm/24 hr Labelled CO2 (14CO2) provides a useful means of assessment of lipase activity


Test For Carbohydrate Malabsorption

  1. Stool examination (pH and reducing sugar)
  2. Hydrogen breath test
  3. D-xylose test
  4. Radio active 14C02 measurement
  5. Stool chromatography



Hydrogen breath test


An increase in hydrogen production over the baseline value occurs after a carbohydrate diet of 1-2 gm/Kg in patients with carbohydrate malabsorption


Test for protein Malabsorption

  1. Serum albumin levels                  
  2. Stool alpha1 antitrypsin level
  3. Radiolabelled albumin measurement in stool.

Pancreatic function Test

  1. Direct Stimulation
    1. Lundh test meal → Stimulation of the pancreas with a meal of corn oil, skimmed milk powder and dextrose
    2. IV infusion of secreting plus CCK is made. 
  2. Tests of fat malabsorption
  3. Stool trypsin and chymotrypsin activity
  4. Bentiromide test

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