Irritable bowel syndrome in children: An Italian multicentre study

M. Bonamico, F. Culasso, C. Colombo, A. M. Giunta, L. Di Martino, M. Pettoello Mantovani, F. Scibelli, P. Mariani, G. Castellucci, P. Bragetti, L. Gobio Casali, G. Leggeri, M. Spina, G. Bottaro, G. Magazzu, S. Piccolo, F. Cataldo, G. Iacono, F. Ferretti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A multicentre study was carried out on 285 children suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Patients were divided according to clinical symptoms and age: Toddler's diarrhoea (TD) under 3 years of age and recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) over 3 years. Clinical characteristics in children with TD and RAP were compared with those found in 114 subjects suffering from various gastrointestinal diseases (GIG) and in 192 normal children. This analysis allowed a complete profile of children with IBS in Italy to be obtained. The TD group, and to a lesser extent the RAP group, differ from the GIC and healthy controls (HC) on the basis of telephone calls to the doctor, physician visits, inappropriate dietary restrictions, multiple medications and multiple non-GI complaints. For children under 3, a history of food intolerance and the presence of mucus and undigested food in the feces are the variables that discriminate patients, with IBS from those, with GIG; for children over 3, colics in the first 3 months of life, a history of food intolerance, loose feces with abdominal pain, pain relieved by evacuation and undigested vegetables in the feces most discriminate the two groups. Finally, we tried to compute a diagnostic score to discriminate IBS children from GIG: this proved to be sensitive to IBS but not specific enough to be of clinical utility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-20
Number of pages8
JournalItalian Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Multicentre Italian study
  • Recurrent abdominal pain
  • Toddler's diarrhoea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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