Symptom Overlap Between Postprandial Distress and Epigastric Pain Syndromes of the Rome III Dyspepsia Classification

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OBJECTIVES:The Rome III criteria for functional dyspepsia recognize two distinct subgroups: postprandial distress syndrome (PDS) and epigastric pain syndrome (EPS). The aim of this exploratory analysis was to evaluate the Rome III criteria and the validity of the PDS/EPS subgrouping in primary care patients with upper gastrointestinal symptoms.METHODS:Primary care patients with frequent upper gastrointestinal symptoms included in the Diamond study (NCT00291746) underwent esophageal endoscopy and 24-h pH-metry. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) was defined as the presence of at least one of the following: reflux esophagitis, pathological esophageal acid exposure, positive symptom association probability (SAP ≥95%) for association of symptoms with acid reflux. Functional dyspepsia was defined by the absence of GERD and peptic ulcer disease on investigation. PDS and/or EPS were diagnosed according to Rome III criteria.RESULTS:In total, 138 patients (41%) had upper gastrointestinal symptoms with normal endoscopy, pH-metry, and SAP results, consistent with the presence of functional dyspepsia. Of these patients, 130 (94%) met criteria for PDS and/or EPS: 13 (10%) had PDS alone, 31 (24%) had EPS alone, and 86 (66%) met criteria for both PDS and EPS.CONCLUSIONS:PDS and EPS overlap in the majority of patients with functional dyspepsia. The value of dividing functional dyspepsia into the subgroups of PDS and EPS is thus questionable. A new approach to classifying functional dyspepsia is needed.

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