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J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2013 Jan;19(1):90-3. doi: 10.5056/jnm.2013.19.1.90. Epub 2013 Jan 8.

The Incidence of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Children Using the Rome III Criteria and the Effect of Trimebutine Treatment.

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Department of Pediatrics, Cerrahpaşa Medical Faculty, İstanbul University, İstanbul, Turkey.



Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common functional gastrointestinal disorders and when compared to the vast knowledge pertaining to adults with IBS, very little is known about IBS in children and adolescents. We aimed to explore the prevalence of IBS, identify symptoms and contributing factors and also to examine the efficacy of trimebutine maleate in children and adolescents.


The study involved 345 children and adolescents (4-18 years) and parents were requested to fill in a questionnaire, Rome III criteria was used to diagnose IBS. To exclude organic disease, all patients underwent medical investigations. Half of the randomly selected IBS patients were treated with trimebutine maleate while the rest of IBS patients were not. The IBS patients were reevaluated at the end of 3 weeks.


The prevalence of IBS according to Rome III criteria in children and adolescents was 22.6% and IBS with constipation was the predominant subtype. Back pain (OR, 6.68), headache (OR, 4.72) and chronic fatigue (OR, 3.74) were significantly higher in IBS group. The prevalence of IBS in both parents and depression in mothers was greater for the patient group than the healthy controls (P < 0.0001). The prevalence of functional dyspepsia in IBS group was 80.8% and was significantly higher than control group. Clinical recovery was seen in 94.9% of the trimebutine maleate group versus spontaneous recovery in 20.5% of the non-medicated group. The difference was significant (P < 0.0001).


IBS is a common disorder in children and adolescents. IBS is closely associated with somatic and familial factors. Trimebutine maleate is effective for pediatric IBS patients.


Child; Irritable bowel syndrome; Trimebutine

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