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European society of neurogastroenterology and motility guidelines on functional constipation in adults

Journal article
Authors J. Serra
D. Pohl
F. Azpiroz
G. Chiarioni
P. Ducrotte
G. Gourcerol
A. P. S. Hungin
P. Layer
J. M. Mendive
J. Pfeifer
G. Rogler
S. M. Scott
Magnus Simrén
P. Whorwell
A. Aguilar
N. Caballero
V. Schindler
S. L. Popa
C. Malagelada
V. Andresen
J. E. Waha
U. Grossi
S. A. Taylor
S. S. Hassan
Published in Neurogastroenterology and Motility
Volume 32
Issue 2
ISSN 1350-1925
Publication year 2020
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition
Language en
Subject categories Gastroenterology and Hepatology


Introduction Chronic constipation is a common disorder with a reported prevalence ranging from 3% to 27% in the general population. Several management strategies, including diagnostic tests, empiric treatments, and specific treatments, have been developed. Our aim was to develop European guidelines for the clinical management of constipation. Design After a thorough review of the literature by experts in relevant fields, including gastroenterologists, surgeons, general practitioners, radiologists, and experts in gastrointestinal motility testing from various European countries, a Delphi consensus process was used to produce statements and practical algorithms for the management of chronic constipation. Key Results Seventy-three final statements were agreed upon after the Delphi process. The level of evidence for most statements was low or very low. A high level of evidence was agreed only for anorectal manometry as a comprehensive evaluation of anorectal function and for treatment with osmotic laxatives, especially polyethylene glycol, the prokinetic drug prucalopride, secretagogues, such as linaclotide and lubiprostone and PAMORAs for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation. However, the level of agreement between the authors was good for most statements (80% or more of the authors). The greatest disagreement was related to the surgical management of constipation. Conclusions and Inferences European guidelines on chronic constipation, with recommendations and algorithms, were developed by experts. Despite the high level of agreement between the different experts, the level of scientific evidence for most recommendations was low, highlighting the need for future research to increase the evidence and improve treatment outcomes in these patients.

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