The steatocrit was measured in infants with protracted diarrhoea who were receiving intragastric modular feeds. Measurements were made when fat intake was constant to determine steatocrit variability and during increases in fat intake to determine fat tolerance limits. Steatocrit variability was expressed as the range between a subject's lowest and highest steatocrit value. The median between-stool and between-day variabilities were 2% and 11% respectively. Variability was also measured in seven healthy breast fed infants. In the five still displaying appreciable physiological steatorrhoea, the between-day variability (median 8%) and between-stool variability (median 9%) were not significantly different from the protracted diarrhoea group. In the fat tolerance investigations in the protracted diarrhoea group, the steatocrit increased with increases in the module fat content. Fat intake and steatocrit were significantly positively related. A significant negative correlation was seen between steatocrit and weight gain, the latter becoming negligible at steatocrit values around 30%.
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