Relationship between symptoms and ingestion of a meal in functional dyspepsia.Gut 2008; 57(11):1495-503Gut
BACKGROUND AND AIMS
A subset of functional dyspepsia (FD) patients report meal-related symptoms, possibly representing a pathophysiologically homogeneous subgroup. The aim of the present study was to establish the time-course of symptoms in relation to meal ingestion, and to assess the relationship between self-reported meal-related symptoms and pathophysiological mechanisms in FD.
218 FD patients (149 women, mean (SEM) age 39 (1) years) filled out a symptom questionnaire, including meal-induced aggravation. All patients underwent a gastric emptying breath test with severity (0-4) scoring of six symptoms (pain, fullness, bloating, nausea, burning and belching) at each sampling (15 min interval for 4 h). In 129 patients, gastric sensitivity and accommodation were assessed by barostat.
The intensity of each FD symptom was significantly increased 15 min after the meal, compared with the premeal score, and remained elevated until the end of the measurement period (all p<0.05). The time-course of individual symptoms varied, with early peaks for fullness and bloating, intermediate peaks for nausea and belching, and late peaks for pain and burning. Meal-induced aggravation was reported by 79% of patients, and in these patients postprandial fullness, which peaked early, was the most intense symptom. In patients without self-reported meal-induced aggravation, epigastric pain, which had a delayed peak, was the most intense symptom and they had a lower prevalence of gastric hypersensitivity (27.5% vs 7.7%).
Meal ingestion aggravates FD symptoms in the vast majority of patients, with symptom-specific time-courses. Postprandial fullness is the most severe symptom in patients reporting aggravation by a meal, while it is pain in those not reporting meal-related symptoms.