Hypersensitivity to gastric distention, an important feature of functional dyspepsia, is assessed by stepwise balloon distention of the proximal stomach in fasting patients.
However, symptoms of functional dyspepsia are often worse after a meal, so studies of postprandial balloon distentions might be more relevant.
Dr Ricard Farré and colleagues from Blegium compared the effects of fasting and postprandial stomach distention in patients with functional dyspepsia.
The researchers assessed 20 controls and 62 patients with functional dyspepsia that participated in a gastric barostat study at Leuven University Hospital with graded isobaric distentions before and after a liquid meal.
On a separate day, all patients underwent a gastric emptying breath test with assessment of postprandial severity of 6 different dyspeptic symptoms scored at 15-minute intervals for 4 hours.
|For each symptom, a meal-related severity score was obtained |
For each symptom, a meal-related severity score was obtained by adding all scores.
The cumulative symptom score was obtained by adding individual symptom severity scores.
The doctors found that in patients, but not in controls, postprandial sensitivity to balloon distention was significantly greater than fasting sensitivity.
The cumulative symptom score and individual symptom scores did not differ between patients with normal or hypersensitivity to fasting distention, but patients who were hypersensitive to postprandial distention had a significantly higher cumulative symptom score, along with scores for postprandial fullness, bloating, and nausea.
The researchers observed that hypersensitivity to postprandial distention was associated with hypersensitivity to fasting distention and with impaired accommodation to a meal.
Dr Farré's team concludes, "Postprandial, but not fasting, distention thresholds are related to the severity of meal-related symptoms in patients with functional dyspepsia."