Routine disaccharidase testing: are we there yet?Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2020 Mar; 36(2):101-109.CO
PURPOSE OF REVIEW
Disaccharidase testing, as applied to the evaluation of gastrointestinal disturbances is available but it is not routinely considered in the diagnostic work-up. The purpose of this review was to determine if disaccharidase testing is clinically useful and to consider how the results could alter patient management.
Indicate that carbohydrate maldigestion could contribute functional bowel disorders and negatively impact the fecal microbiome. Diagnostic techniques include enzyme activity assays performed on random endoscopically obtained small intestinal biopsies, immunohistochemistry, stable isotope tracer and nonenriched substrate load breath testing, and genetic testing for mutations. More than 40 sucrase--isomaltase gene variants coding for defective or reduced enzymatic activity have been reported and deficiency conditions are more common than previously thought.
The rationale for disaccharidase activity testing relates to a need to fully assess unexplained recurrent abdominal discomfort and associated symptoms. All disaccharidases share the same basic mechanism of mucosal expression and deficiency has far reaching consequences. Testing for disaccharidase expression appears to have an important role in symptom evaluation, but there are accuracy and logistical issues that should be considered. It is likely that specific recommendations for patient management, dietary modification, and enzyme supplementation would come from better testing methods.