Two-hour lactose breath hydrogen test.J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1986 Jan; 5(1):130-3.JP
Current requirements for the lactose breath hydrogen test (LBHT) include serial expired air samplings and multiple hydrogen (H2) determinations. One hundred thirty-two consecutive LBHTs were evaluated to determine whether multiple samplings are indeed necessary for detection of lactose malabsorption. Expired air samples were collected at 0, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 min following ingestion of lactose. Fifty-five LBHTs were positive for lactose malabsorption. All tests showed abnormally elevated breath H2 concentrations at 120 min. The mean value of the change in parts per million (delta ppm) of H2 at 120 min (51.1 +/- 4.7 SEM) was higher than at any other time point. If only the 120-min samples were examined without subtracting the initial concentrations, four of the 77 negative tests (5.2%) would have been falsely positive. Thus, the values of H2 at 0 and 120 min were sufficient to define lactose malabsorption in all cases. We conclude that just as a single blood sample now suffices for determining xylose malabsorption, so expired air sampling at only 0 and 120 min during the LBHT is a reliable method for detecting lactose malabsorption and diminishes the need for acquiring and analyzing multiple samples.