Disaccharidase Analysis Offered by Mercy Specialists

Mercy Medical Center - Baltimore, MD

The doctors of The Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy specialize in conditions of the digestive tract. When patients have abdominal discomfort, a disaccharidase analysis may help explain the cause of symptoms when other tests are inconclusive.

What is Disaccharidase Analysis?

Disaccharidases are enzymes (lactase, maltase, sucrose and palatinase) in the small bowel that break down complex sugars (like lactose, maltose and sucrose) into simple sugars (like glucose) for digestion. Deficiencies in one or more of these enzymes can results in a wide range of gastrointestinal symptoms. Disaccharidase deficiency may be congenital or acquired. Disaccharidase analysis is performed by taking a tissue sample from the small bowel to detect deficiencies or inflammation.

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How does Disaccharidase Analysis work?

Our clinicians will perform an endoscopy under anesthesia. A thin, flexible tube known as an endoscope is passed through the mouth to the closest potion of the small bowel where a small sample of bowel tissue will be collected. Laboratory testing is then performed to detect any deficiencies. This is an outpatient procedure, meaning patients will go home after the test and a hospital stay is not typically required.

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When is Disaccharidase Analysis used?

Disaccharidase analysis is considered the “gold standard” in testing to determine these types of deficiencies. Tissue samples are obtained fairly easily and test results can be very helpful in creating a treatment plan.