Gut permeability, intestinal morphology, and nutritional depletion.

R.R.W.J. van der Hulst*, M.F. von Meyenfeldt, B.K. van Kreel, F.B.J.M. Thunnissen, R.J.M. Brummer, J.W. Arends, P.B. Soeters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Department of Surgery, University of Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Nutritional depletion increases the risk for postoperative complications. The intestinal barrier may be important in the underlying pathophysiologic mechanism. In this study, 26 patients were evaluated to determine whether nutritional depletion was related to gut integrity and intestinal morphology. Nutritional depletion was estimated by calculating percentage ideal body weight (PIB) or percentage ideal fat free mass (PIFFM). To assess gut integrity, a lactulose/mannitol (L/M) test was performed. Duodenal biopsies were taken, and villous height, crypt depth, number of IgA-producing plasma cells, intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs), and proliferating index were determined. The L/M ratio was increased, and villous height was decreased in depleted patients. Depletion was not associated with differences in the number of immune cells or proliferating index. The number of IgA-producing plasma cells was positively correlated with the L/M ratio. This study shows that nutritional depletion is associated with increased intestinal permeability and a decrease in villous height.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998

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