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Cumulative Effects of Psychologic Distress, Visceral Hypersensitivity, and Abnormal Transit on Patient-reported Outcomes in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Journal article
Authors Magnus Simrén
Hans Törnblom
O. S. Palsson
L. Van Oudenhove
W. E. Whitehead
J. Tack
Published in Gastroenterology
Volume 157
Issue 2
Pages 391-402
ISSN 0016-5085
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Medicine
Pages 391-402
Language en
Keywords Visceral Hypersensitivity, Colonic Transit, Psychologic Distress, Patient-Reported Outcomes, symptom severity, colonic motility, gastrointestinal transit, intestinal, transit, rectal distension, pain sensitivity, hospital anxiety, depression, ibs, disorders, Gastroenterology & Hepatology
Subject categories Clinical Medicine


BACKGROUND & AIMS: Little is known about the link between pathophysiologic factors and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or whether these factors have cumulative effects on patient-reported outcomes (PROs). We investigated whether pathophysiologic alterations associated with IBS have cumulative or independent effects on PROs. METHODS: We performed a retrospective analysis of data from 3 cohorts of patients with IBS (n = 407; 74% female; mean age, 36 +/- 12 years), based on Rome II or Rome III criteria, seen at a specialized unit for functional gastrointestinal disorders in Sweden from 2002 through 2014. All patients underwent assessments of colonic transit time (radiopaque markers); compliance, allodynia, and hyperalgesia (rectal barostat); anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale), as pathophysiologic factors. Dysfunction was defined by available normal values. PROs included IBS symptom severity, somatic symptom severity, and disease-specific quality of life. RESULTS: Allodynia was observed in 36% of patients, hyperalgesia in 22%, accelerated colonic transit in 18%, delayed transit in 7%, anxiety in 52%, and depression in 24%: each of these factors was associated with severity of at least 1 symptom of IBS. Rectal compliance was not associated with more severe symptoms of IBS. At least 3 pathophysiologic factors were present in 20% of patients, 2 in 30%, 1 in 31%, and none in 18%. With increasing number of pathophysiologic abnormalities, there was a gradual increase in IBS symptom severity (P < .0001) and somatic symptom severity (P < .0001), and a gradual reduction in quality of life (P < .0001). CONCLUSION: Visceral hypersensitivity, including allodynia and hyperalgesia, abnormal colonic transit, and psychologic factors are all associated with IBS symptoms. These factors have a cumulative effect on gastrointestinal and non-gastrointestinal symptoms, as well as on quality of life, in patients with IBS and are therefore relevant treatment targets.

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Utskriftsdatum: 2020-08-08