Functional dyspepsia: A new Rome III paradigm
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Functional dyspepsia (FD) is a condition commonly seen in gastroenterological practice. With the introduction of Rome III criteria in 2006, a new approach for categorizing patients has been recommended. The diagnostic criteria suggest that meal-related and pain-predominant symptom groupings that presumably have distinct pathophysiologic mechanisms and potentially different therapeutic targets exist. The new classification is in the early stages of testing; in the meantime, the umbrella term of FD should continue to be utilized in clinical practice. Treatment of FD remains a major challenge. Unfortunately, most of the agents used in practice have limited or no evidence of efficacy, and the results typically are short-lived once therapy is ceased. Appropriate therapy currently is based on a consideration of putative pathophysiologic mechanisms. Testing for and eradicating Helicobacter pylori is a first-line strategy irrespective of the symptom pattern. In patients who have epigastric pain, antisecretory agents are recommended. Antacids, bismuth, and sucralfate seem to be no better than placebo. For meal-related symptoms such as postprandial fullness or early satiety, prokinetics may confer some benefit. However, few choices are available, and the efficacy for those drugs on the market is limited at best. Antidepressants are of uncertain efficacy but are widely used. Psychological therapies seem promising and may confer benefits on both pain and meal-related symptoms. Efficacy of complementary medicines has been suggested in controlled trials, but more data are needed. Emerging treatments include gastric fundus relaxors and visceral analgesics, although their application in FD is still in the preliminary stages.
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