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Rome II Criteria Beneficial for Gastrointestinal Disorders

Most diagnoses of functional gastrointestinal disorders by pediatricians later confirmed

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Family pediatricians can properly diagnose and manage functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) using the so-called Rome II criteria, according to research published online Dec. 14 in Pediatrics.

Giuseppe Primavera, M.D., of the National Health System in Palermo, Italy, and colleagues analyzed data from 9,291 children aged 14 years and under who were examined in a three-month period by 21 pediatricians. Of these children, 261 (2.8 percent) met the Rome II criteria for FGIDs and were followed at several points over the year to assess for a change in symptoms or diagnosis.

In nearly all the cases (98.4 percent), the researchers found that the FGID diagnosis was confirmed at the end of follow-up. Functional constipation and abdominal pain were the most common disorders. Doctors had good compliance with a predefined diagnostic and therapeutic protocol (compliance for lab examinations and therapy, 81.3 and 75 percent, respectively). Out of a subgroup of 56 patients treated with reassurance but not medications, 92.8 percent reported improvement or relief of symptoms.

"We believe that the Rome II criteria provide the clinician with positive data on which to base the diagnosis of FGIDs (especially abdominal pain related ones) in childhood, thus minimizing what can otherwise become an exhaustive 'rule-out' workup in the patient with a suspected functional disorder," the authors conclude.

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