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Evaluation of gastrointestinal permeability and mucosal absorptive capacity in dogs with chronic enteropathy

Karin Allenspach Dr med vet1, Joerg M. Steiner Dr med vet, PhD2, Bhavin N. Shah BS3, Nora Berghoff med vet4, Craig Ruaux BVSc, PhD5, David A. Williams MA, Vet MB, PhD6, Juerg W. Blum Prof Dr med vet7, and Frederic Gaschen Prof Dr med vet8
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  • 1 Division of Small Animal Internal Medicine, Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland.
  • | 2 Gastrointestinal Laboratory, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veteriary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4474.
  • | 3 Gastrointestinal Laboratory, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veteriary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4474.
  • | 4 Gastrointestinal Laboratory, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veteriary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4474.
  • | 5 Gastrointestinal Laboratory, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veteriary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4474.
  • | 6 Gastrointestinal Laboratory, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veteriary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4474.
  • | 7 Division of Nutrition and Physiology, Institute of Animal Genetics, Nutrition and Housing, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland.
  • | 8 Division of Small Animal Internal Medicine, Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland.

Abstract

Objective—To assess intestinal mucosal function by measuring permeability and absorptive capacity in dogs with chronic enteropathy (CE) before and after treatment and to determine whether those variables were correlated with clinical disease activity or histologic scoring of intestinal biopsy specimens.

Animals—29 dogs with CE.

Procedure—Dogs were designated as having dietresponsive CE or CE requiring glucorticoid treatment. Severity of clinical signs was assessed by calculating the canine inflammatory bowel disease activity index (CIBDAI). Histologic severity of intestinal infiltration was assessed before and after 4 weeks of treatment in the diet-responsive group and before and after 10 weeks of treatment in the glucocorticoid group. Gastrointestinal permeability and mucosal absorptive capacity were assessed by use of intragastric administration of a solution containing lactulose, rhamnose, xylose, 3-O-methylglucose, and sucrose. Urine was collected 6 hours after administration of the sugar solution to determine urinary lactulose-to-rhamnose (L:R), xylose-to-methylglucose (X:M), and sucrose-to-methylglucose (S:M) ratios.

Results—Median CIBDAI scores decreased significantly in both groups of dogs after treatment. However, the median histologic grade of intestinal biopsy specimens did not change with treatment in either group. There were no significant differences in L:R, X:M, or S:M ratios after treatment in either group and no significant correlations between L:R, X:M, or S:M ratios and CIBDAI or histologic scores.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of tests for intestinal permeability and mucosal absorptive capacity were not useful indicators of clinical disease activity as assessed by the CIBDAI or the sever ity of infiltration as indicated by histologic evaluation.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Allenspach.