Introduction

Small-bowel bacterial overgrowth (SBBO) is characterized by the colonization of the small intestine by bacteria that are normally found only in the colonic microbiota.

In the literature, SBBO has received many names such as 'the blind loop syndrome',1 'stagnant loop syndrome',2 'small intestinal stasis syndrome',3 and the 'contaminated small bowel syndrome'.4

Initially, SBBO descriptions predominated in patients with surgical or anatomical abnormalities, and later SBBO was recognized in children who did not present anatomical abnormalities, in situations such as protein-energy malnutrition, acute diarrhea, persistent diarrhea and environmental enteropathy. These findings characterize SBBO as an important public health problem, occurring especially in the pediatric population in less-developed countries. SBBO can cause asymptomatic intestinal malabsorption and/or chronic diarrhea and may be associated with protein-energy malnutrition and stunting.

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