hydrogen breath test

hydrogen breath test
(for deficiency of lactase or other hydrolases, or colonic overgrowth of bacteria) a breath test in which a known quantity of carbohydrate is administered and the subject's exhalations measured at timed intervals; in patients who are unable to digest or absorb carbohydrates in the small intestine, bacterial fermentation of excess carbohydrate in the colon causes an increase in blood hydrogen and thus in hydrogen exhaled by the lungs.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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