The classification of functional dyspepsia into meaningful subgroups remains an important goal. The aim of this investigation was to determine correlations between dyspeptic symptoms with gastric physiology and psychologic distress.
Consecutive patients with functional dyspepsia were evaluated with electrogastrography (EGG), drink test, and solid phase gastric emptying. Subjects also completed the Nepean Dyspepsia Index, Psychologic General Well-Being Index, SCL-90R, and SF-36.
Eighty-one patients were evaluated. Gastric emptying was performed in 29 of 81 patients and was abnormal in 21%, but no correlation existed between symptoms and T1/2 or TLAG. EGG was abnormal in 42% and drink test was abnormal in 40% of patients. Both were significantly associated with nausea but not with other symptoms. Significant correlations existed with 10 of 15 assessed symptoms and various subscales of the SCL-90R. Somatization was associated with abdominal burning, chest pain, abdominal pressure, abdominal discomfort, bad breath, chest burning, excessive fullness, bloating, abdominal pain, and regurgitation. Anxiety was associated with abdominal burning, chest pain, abdominal pressure, and abdominal discomfort. Anger-hostility was associated with abdominal burning and abdominal pressure. Increased interpersonal sensitivity was associated with abdominal burning and chest burning. SCL-90R Global Symptom Score was associated with abdominal burning, chest pain, abdominal discomfort, and bad breath.
Abnormal gastric physiology as measured in this study was not associated with symptoms other than nausea. Significant associations existed between measures of psychiatric distress and digestive symptoms. Symptoms in functional dyspepsia had greater associations with psychologic distress than with commonly employed tests of gastric physiology.
From the Division of Gastroenterology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL.
Received for publication December 11, 2003; accepted March 24, 2004.
Reprints: Michael P. Jones, MD, 251 East Huron St., Galter Pavilion 4-104, Chicago, IL 60611-2908 (e-mail: email@example.com).