Gastrointestinal permeability in atopic and non-atopic mothers, assessed with different-sized polyethyleneglycols (PEG 400 and PEG 1000)


Dr Karin Fälth-Mugnusson, Department of Pediatrics, University of Linköping, S-581 85 Linköping, Sweden.


Gastrointestinal permeability was compared in seventy-one women, forty-six allergic and twenty-five non-allergic according to case history, by measuring the 6-hr urinary recovery after an oral load of different-sized polyethyleneglycols (PEG 400 and PEG 1000). Further classification, atopic and non-atopic, was obtained by skin-prick tests to inhalant and food allergens in sixty-four of the seventy-one mothers. No significant differences were observed between allergic and non-allergic women, neither regarding the maximum recovery nor the recovery ratio between a large and a small molecule. The results do not lend support to the hypothesis of a persistently increased gut permeability in atopic subjects, which in turn could possibly imply an increased risk of intrauterine sensitization of the foetus of an atopic mother.