Noninvasive Biomarkers of Gut Barrier Function in Patients Suffering from Diarrhea Predominant-IBS: An Update

Dis Markers. 2020 Oct 13;2020:2886268. doi: 10.1155/2020/2886268.eCollection 2020.

Michele Linsalata 1, Giuseppe Riezzo 1, Caterina Clemente 1, Benedetta D'Attoma 1, Francesco Russo 1


Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Nutritional Pathophysiology, National Institute of Gastroenterology "S. de Bellis" Research Hospital, I-70013 Castellana Grotte, Italy.


The intestinal barrier plays a crucial role in the absorption of nutrients and in preventing the entry of pathogenic microorganisms and toxic molecules. Several studies have shown a compromised intestinal barrier associated with low-grade inflammation in the small intestinal mucosa in celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), particularly in IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D). In light of these new data, IBS is no longer considered a functional disease but rather a heterogeneous syndrome that has yet to be carefully studied. Therefore, investigating the integrity and function of the intestinal barrier is now essential to improving knowledge of the pathophysiology of IBS-D and to improving the management of IBS-D patients. However, the study of the intestinal barrier must clarify some still unsolved methodological aspects and propose standardised assays before becoming a useful diagnostic tool. In this framework, this review will discuss data about the tests that noninvasively evaluate the integrity and functionality of the human intestinal barrier, paying particular attention to patients with IBS-D, in both clinical and research situations.

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