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BMC Gastroenterol. 2012 Dec 7;12:175. doi: 10.1186/1471-230X-12-175.

Dyspeptic symptoms and delayed gastric emptying of solids in patients with inactive Crohn's disease.

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  • 1Institute of Biomedicine of Brazilian Semi-Arid (INCT-IBISAB), Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, Federal University of Ceará, Rua Cel, Nunes de Melo, 1315, CEP: 60430-270, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil.



Patients with Crohn's disease (CD) have been shown to present dyspeptic symptoms more frequently than the general population. Some of these symptoms could be related to motility disorders to some degree. Then, we propose to investigate whether gastric emptying of solids in patients with inactive CD is delayed and to determine the relationships between gastric emptying and dyspeptic symptoms in inactive CD.


Twenty-six patients with inactive Crohn's disease, as defined by a Crohn's Disease Activity Index (CDAI) < 150, underwent a gastric emptying test by breath test using 13C octanoic acid coupled to a solid meal and answered a validated questionnaire (The Porto Alegre Dyspeptic Symptoms Questionnaire) to assess dyspeptic symptoms. Patients with scores ≥ 6 were considered to have dyspepsia. The control group was composed by 19 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers.


Patients with CD had a significantly longer t 1/2 and t lag (p<0.05) than the controls. CD patients with dyspepsia had significantly (p<0.05) prolonged gastric emptying when compared to patients without dyspeptic symptoms. When the individual symptom patterns were analyzed, only vomiting was significantly associated with delayed gastric emptying (p<0.05). There was no difference between the subgroups of patients with respect to gender, CDAI scores, disease location, clinical behavior (obstructive/obstructive) or previous gastrointestinal surgery.


Delayed gastric emptying in inactive Crohn's disease patients seems to be associated with dyspeptic symptoms, particularly vomiting, even without any evidence of gastrointestinal obstruction.

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