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      A randomised, controlled study of small intestinal motility in patients treated with sacral nerve stimulation for irritable bowel syndrome

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          Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is among the most common gastrointestinal disorders worldwide. In selected patients with severe diarrhoea-predominant or mixed IBS subtypes sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) alleviates IBS-specific symptoms and improves quality of life. The mode of action, however, remains unknown. The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of SNS on small intestinal motility in IBS patients.


          Twenty patients treated with SNS for severe diarrhoea-predominant or mixed IBS were included in a randomised, controlled, crossover study. The neurostimulator was turned ON or OFF for the first one month and then to the opposite setting for the next month. Gastrointestinal transit patterns were investigated with the Motility Tracking System-1 (MTS-1) at the end of each the ON and OFF period. Primary endpoint was change in the velocity of the magnetic pill within the small intestine. Statistical testing was performed with Wilcoxon’s rank sum test and Fisher’s exact test.


          The median velocity of the magnetic pill through the small intestine in the fasting state was not significantly different between periods with and without SNS (Group ON-OFF: median change 0 m/h (range -1.07, 0.63), Group OFF-ON: median change 0.27 m/h (range -0.59, 1.12)) (p = 0.25). Neither, was the median velocity of the magnetic pill through the small intestine in the postprandial state significantly different between periods with and without SNS (Group ON-OFF: median change -0.13 m/h (range -0.46, 0.23), Group OFF-ON: median change 0.015 m/h (range -0.48, 0.59)) (p = 0.14).


          Even though SNS may reduce symptoms of diarrhoea-predominant and mixed IBS, it has no detectable effect on small intestinal transit patterns.

          Trial registration

, ( NCT00919672).

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          Most cited references 33

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          Functional bowel disorders.

          Employing a consensus approach, our working team critically considered the available evidence and multinational expert criticism, revised the Rome II diagnostic criteria for the functional bowel disorders, and updated diagnosis and treatment recommendations. Diagnosis of a functional bowel disorder (FBD) requires characteristic symptoms during the last 3 months and onset > or =6 months ago. Alarm symptoms suggest the possibility of structural disease, but do not necessarily negate a diagnosis of an FBD. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), functional bloating, functional constipation, and functional diarrhea are best identified by symptom-based approaches. Subtyping of IBS is controversial, and we suggest it be based on stool form, which can be aided by use of the Bristol Stool Form Scale. Diagnostic testing should be guided by the patient's age, primary symptom characteristics, and other clinical and laboratory features. Treatment of FBDs is based on an individualized evaluation, explanation, and reassurance. Alterations in diet, drug treatment aimed at predominant symptoms, and psychotherapy may be beneficial.
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            Guidelines on the irritable bowel syndrome: mechanisms and practical management.

            IBS affects 5-11% of the population of most countries. Prevalence peaks in the third and fourth decades, with a female predominance. To provide a guide for the assessment and management of adult patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Members of the Clinical Services Committee of The British Society of Gastroenterology were allocated particular areas to produce review documents. Literature searching included systematic searches using electronic databases such as Pubmed, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Web of Science, and Cochrane databases and extensive personal reference databases. Patients can usefully be classified by predominant bowel habit. Few investigations are needed except when diarrhoea is a prominent feature. Alarm features may warrant further investigation. Adverse psychological features and somatisation are often present. Ascertaining the patients' concerns and explaining symptoms in simple terms improves outcome. IBS is a heterogeneous condition with a range of treatments, each of which benefits a small proportion of patients. Treatment of associated anxiety and depression often improves bowel and other symptoms. Randomised placebo controlled trials show benefit as follows: cognitive behavioural therapy and psychodynamic interpersonal therapy improve coping; hypnotherapy benefits global symptoms in otherwise refractory patients; antispasmodics and tricyclic antidepressants improve pain; ispaghula improves pain and bowel habit; 5-HT(3) antagonists improve global symptoms, diarrhoea, and pain but may rarely cause unexplained colitis; 5-HT(4) agonists improve global symptoms, constipation, and bloating; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors improve global symptoms. Better ways of identifying which patients will respond to specific treatments are urgently needed.
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              U.S. householder survey of functional gastrointestinal disorders. Prevalence, sociodemography, and health impact.

              Our objective was to obtain national data of the estimated prevalence, sociodemographic relationships, and health impact of persons with functional gastrointestinal disorders. We surveyed a stratified probability random sample of U.S. householders selected from a data base of a national market firm (National Family Opinion, Inc.). Questions were asked about bowel symptoms, sociodemographic associations, work absenteeism, and physician visits. The sampling frame was constructed to be demographically similar to the U.S. householder population based on geographic region, age of householder, population density, household income, and household size. Of 8250 mailings, 5430 were returned suitable for analysis (66% response). The survey assessed the prevalence of 20 functional gastrointestinal syndromes based on fulfillment of multinational diagnostic (Rome) criteria. Additional variables studied included: demographic status, work absenteeism, health care use, employment status, family income, geographic area of residence, population density, and number of persons in household. For this sample, 69% reported having at least one of 20 functional gastrointestinal syndromes in the previous three months. The symptoms were attributed to four major anatomic regions: esophageal (42%), gastroduodenal (26%), bowel (44%), and anorectal (26%), with considerable overlap. Females reported greater frequencies of globus, functional dysphagia, irritable bowel syndrome, functional constipation, functional abdominal pain, functional biliary pain and dyschezia; males reported greater frequencies of aerophagia and functional bloating. Symptom reporting, except for incontinence, declines with age, and low income is associated with greater symptom reporting. The rate of work/school absenteeism and physician visits is increased for those having a functional gastrointestinal disorder. Furthermore, the greatest rates are associated with those having gross fecal incontinence and certain more painful functional gastrointestinal disorders such as chronic abdominal pain, biliary pain, functional dyspepsia and IBS. Preliminary information on the prevalence, socio-demographic features and health impact is provided for persons who fulfill diagnostic criteria for functional gastrointestinal disorders.

                Author and article information

                BMC Gastroenterol
                BMC Gastroenterol
                BMC Gastroenterology
                BioMed Central
                25 June 2014
                : 14
                : 111
                [1 ]Department of Surgery, P, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark
                [2 ]Department of Hepatology and Gastroenterology, Neurogastroenterology Unit, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark
                Copyright © 2014 Fassov et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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