PCR of the Small Bowel in Normal Subjects

Condition: Bacterial overgrowth


Key Inclusion Criteria

  • Between 18-65 years old
  • Must be referred for a double balloon enteroscopy as standard of care for obscure gastrointestinal bleed

Key Exclusion Criteria

  • Use of proton pump inhibitors one week before endoscopy
  • History of abdominal surgery
  • History of IBS or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth

Full Study Name

PCR of the Small Bowel in Normal Subjects: Pilot Study (IRB no. 17302)


The purpose of this study is to determine normal bacterial counts in the small bowel of healthy (non-irritable bowel syndrome) individuals. Previous studies have shown that that bacterial overgrowth may be the cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Patients with IBS have been shown to have abnormal lactulose breath tests; however, breath testing is an indirect measure of bacterial overgrowth. Because the standard methods for diagnosing IBS are problematic, researchers aim to study bacterial counts in the small intestines of non-IBS patients through real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). PCR is a technique through which a single or few copies of a piece of DNA can be magnified.

Principal Investigator

Mark Pimentel, MD


Medically Associated Science and Technology (MAST) Program Office
Phone: 310-423-0617
Email: groupmedicinemastclinical@cshs.org