Intestinal absorption and bacteriology of the ileal contents were compared in seven patients with continent ileostomy and seven patients with conventional ileostomy. The absorption of vitamin B12 was reduced in five patients with continent ileostomy and subnormal in two patients with conventional ileostomy. Steatorrhoea was present in four patients with continent and one patient with conventional ileostomy. Increased concentrations of total anaerobic bacteria and Bacteroides were found in the ileum of the patients with continent ileostomy. After an oral dose of (1-14C) glycocholic acid there was no difference in the faecal excretion of radioactivity, whereas the 14CO2-expiration was increased in two patients with continent ileostomy. In four patients with continent ileostomy and malabsorption of B12, there was evidence of a stagnant loopsyndrome as oral lincomycin treatment resulted in increased absorption of B12 decreased excretion of faecal fat, and decreased concentrations of Bacteroides in the ileum.
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