Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Rheumatology (Oxford). 2013 Jun;52(6):1095-100. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kes429. Epub 2013 Feb 4.

Gastrointestinal motility disorder assessment in systemic sclerosis.

Author information

Gastroenterology Unit, University of Padua, Padua, Italy.



SSc is a clinically heterogeneous and generalized disease, characterized by thickness of the connective tissue of the skin and internal organs, such as the digestive tract, impairing gastrointestinal (GI) motility. Our aim is to evaluate retrospectively abnormalities of oesophageal motility, gastric emptying, oro-cecal transit time (OCTT) and small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) in a large cohort of SSc patients.


Ninety-nine SSc patients were included in the study. Forty-two patients underwent oesophageal conventional manometry, 45 performed a [(13)C]octanoic acid breath test to measure gastric emptying time and all 99 patients performed a lactulose breath test in order to evaluate OCTT and SIBO. Data were compared with healthy controls.


In SSc patients, median lower oesophageal sphincter (LOS) pressure [14 mmHg (25th-75th; 8-19) vs 24 mmHg (19-28); P < 0.01] and median wave amplitude [30 mmHg (16-70) vs 72 mmHg (48-96); P < 0.01] were lower than in controls. Oesophageal involvement, defined as reduced LOS pressure and ineffective oesophageal motility pattern, was encountered in 70% of SSc patients. A delayed gastric emptying time was present in 38% of SSc patients: mean t½ was 141 ± 79 min vs 90 ± 40 min of controls (P < 0.01). Also, OCTT was significantly delayed in SSc: median OCTT was 160 min (25th-75th; 135-180) vs 105 min (25th-75th; 90-135) of controls (P < 0.01). SIBO was observed in 46% of SSc compared with 5% of controls (P < 0.01).


GI involvement is very frequent in SSc patients. Oesophagus and small bowel are more frequently impaired, whereas delayed gastric emptying is less common.


13C-octanoate breath test; gastrointestinal motility; lactulose breath test; oesophageal manometry; scleroderma; systemic sclerosis

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
    Loading ...
    Support Center