Paediatric Rome III Criteria–Related Abdominal Pain Is Associated With Helicobacter pylori and Not With Calprotectin

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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.


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.


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).


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.

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