Thirty-seven patients undergoing routine investigation for malabsorption were given radio-opaque pellets (ROP) which were compared with polyethylene glycol and chromic oxide as continuous faecal markers. Percentage recovery of all markers showed a wide range. The recovery of all markers was very similar, and radio-opaque pellet-corrected daily faecal fat correlated very closely with PEG-and chromic oxide-corrected fat results. Estimation of ROP is precise, simple, and minimises faecal handling. ROP are suitable for routine use in faecal fat studies and have advantages over markers used at present.
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