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Open Access Research article

Dyspeptic symptoms and delayed gastric emptying of solids in patients with inactive Crohn’s disease

Ana Carolina Mello Nóbrega1, Bruno Roberto Silva Ferreira12, Graciela Josué Oliveira12, Kamila Maria Oliveira Sales2, Armênio Aguiar Santos2, Miguel Ângelo Nobre e Souza1, Lúcia Libanês Bessa Campelo Braga1, Luiz Ernesto de Almeida Troncon3 and Marcellus Henrique Loiola Ponte Souza124*

  • * Corresponding author: Marcellus Henrique Loiola Ponte Souza souzamar@ufc.br

Author affiliations

1 Institute of Biomedicine of Brazilian Semi-Arid (INCT-IBISAB), Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, Federal University of Ceará, Rua Cel. Nunes de Melo, 1315, CEP: 60430-270, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil

2 Institute of Biomedicine of Brazilian Semi-Arid (INCT-IBISAB), Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Federal University of Ceará, Rua Cel. Nunes de Melo, 1315, CEP: 60430-270, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil

3 Department of Medicine, Ribeirão Preto Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, 14049-900, São Paulo, Brazil

4 Centro de Biomedicina, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Federal do Ceará, Rua Cel. Nunes de Melo, 1315, Rodolfo Teófilo, Fortaleza-CE, Brazil

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Citation and License

BMC Gastroenterology 2012, 12:175  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-12-175

Published: 7 December 2012

Abstract

Background

Patients with Crohn’s disease (CD) have been shown to present dyspeptic symptoms more frequently than the general population. Some of these symptoms could be related to motility disorders to some degree. Then, we propose to investigate whether gastric emptying of solids in patients with inactive CD is delayed and to determine the relationships between gastric emptying and dyspeptic symptoms in inactive CD.

Methods

Twenty-six patients with inactive Crohn’s disease, as defined by a Crohn’s Disease Activity Index (CDAI) < 150, underwent a gastric emptying test by breath test using 13C octanoic acid coupled to a solid meal and answered a validated questionnaire (The Porto Alegre Dyspeptic Symptoms Questionnaire) to assess dyspeptic symptoms. Patients with scores ≥ 6 were considered to have dyspepsia. The control group was composed by 19 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers.

Results

Patients with CD had a significantly longer t 1/2 and t lag (p<0.05) than the controls. CD patients with dyspepsia had significantly (p<0.05) prolonged gastric emptying when compared to patients without dyspeptic symptoms. When the individual symptom patterns were analyzed, only vomiting was significantly associated with delayed gastric emptying (p<0.05). There was no difference between the subgroups of patients with respect to gender, CDAI scores, disease location, clinical behavior (obstructive/obstructive) or previous gastrointestinal surgery.

Conclusion

Delayed gastric emptying in inactive Crohn’s disease patients seems to be associated with dyspeptic symptoms, particularly vomiting, even without any evidence of gastrointestinal obstruction.

Keywords:
Dyspeptic; Gastric emptying; Crohn