Abdominal pain–related functional gastrointestinal disorders in children include functional dyspepsia, functional abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and abdominal migraine. We aimed to evaluate a possible association between functional abdominal pain disorders and Helicobacter pylori infection and faecal calprotectin level.Methods:
Prospective observational study including consecutive children with functional gastrointestinal disorders fulfilling Rome III criteria (cases) and age/sex-matched healthy controls. H pylori has been detected by biopsy-based tests and stool-antigen detection, faecal calprotectin by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.Results:
A total of 56 cases (27 with functional dyspepsia) and 56 controls were enrolled. H pylori being detected in 17 of 56 cases (30.4%) and 4 of 56 controls (7.1%, odds ratio: 5.7; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.8–18.2, P = 0.003). H pylori was detected significantly more frequently in cases with functional dyspepsia (14/27, 51.9% odds ratio: 14.0; 95% CI: 3.9–49.7, P = 0.00001) than in controls and not in cases with other well-recognized functional gastrointestinal complaints (3/29, 10.3%). The median faecal calprotectin level was similar in cases (7.8 μg/g, 95% CI: 7.8–8.4) including those with gastritis, and controls (9.1 μg/g, 95% CI: 7.8–11.3). Gastritis features were more frequent in H pylori–infected and noninfected cases with functional dyspepsia (27/27, 100%) than in cases with other abdominal functional complaints (15/29, 51.7%, P = 0.007).Conclusions:
H pylori gastritis and noninfectious gastritis were associated with functional dyspepsia in children referred for abdominal pain–related functional gastrointestinal disorders while faecal calprotectin is not a predictor of gastritis and is similar in children with functional abdominal pain symptoms and in controls.