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Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2004 Jun;16(3):311-4.

Intolerance to visceral distension in functional dyspepsia or irritable bowel syndrome: an organ specific defect or a pan intestinal dysregulation?

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Gastroenterology unit, Hôpital Saint-Luc, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada.


Functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID) are characterized by visceral hypersensitivity that could be specific to a region of the gut or reflect a diffuse pan-intestinal disorder. Sensory thresholds to distension at two visceral sites in patients with different FGIDs were determined. According to Rome II criteria, 30 patients from three groups were studied: patients with (i) functional dyspepsia (FD) or (ii) irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and (iii) patients with concomitant symptoms of FD and IBS. Pain thresholds to balloon distension were determined in stomach and rectum. In FD patients, gastric intolerance to balloon distension was found in 91% patients; rectal hypersensitivity was documented in 18% patients. In IBS patients, rectal hypersensitivity was seen in 75% patients; while gastric hypersensitivity was never found. In patients with concomitant symptoms of FD + IBS, gastric and rectal intolerance to distension were present respectively in 82 and 91% patients. In the whole group, visceral intolerance to distension was documented at one site in 90% patients and at both sites, i.e. stomach and rectum, in 33% patients. Visceral intolerance to distension can be pan-intestinal in patients with multiple sites of symptoms, but appears organ-specific in patients exhibiting a specific site of symptoms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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