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Therapeutic Response for Functional Abdominal Pain in Children with Occult Constipation.

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Dr Swati Bhave    29 January 2018

The relationship between functional abdominal pain (FAP) and occult constipation (OC) in children who did not meet the Rome III criteria for constipation remains unknown.

The aim of a new study published in the Journal of Korean Medical Sciences was to estimate the prevalence of OC in patients with FAP, and to compare the effectiveness of prokinetic drugs and laxatives for FAP and OC.

In this study, 212 pediatric outpatients in the age-group of 4-15 years, who satisfied the Rome III criteria for childhood FAP were divided into 2 groups based on their Leech scores, vis, group-1 < 8 and group-2 ≥ 8. Group-2 received either prokinetic drugs or laxatives and pain severity was assessed after 2 weeks, 1 month, and 3 months.

The results revealed OC in 52.4% of the patients enrolled. It was observed that a higher number of patients who received laxatives had reduced pain scores. Furthermore, patients treated with laxatives in group-2 had a better response than those treated with prokinetic drugs throughout the study period. However, OC was frequently encountered in children with FAP.

Therefore, it was inferred that laxatives are more effective in comparison, for relieving symptoms of FAP in children with a Leech score ≥ 8 and suspected OC.

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