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BMC Gastroenterology

, 4:32

First Online: 26 December 2004Received: 15 October 2004Accepted: 26 December 2004


BackgroundGastrointestinal symptoms are common in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome CFS. The objective of this study was to determine the frequency of these symptoms and explore their relationship with objective radionuclide studies of upper GI function.

MethodsThirty-two 32 patients with CFS and 45 control subjects completed a questionnaire on upper GI symptoms, and the 32 patients underwent oesophageal clearance, and simultaneous liquid and solid gastric emptying studies using radionuclide techniques compared with historical controls.

ResultsThe questionnaires showed a significant difference in gastric p > 0.01 symptoms and swallowing difficulty. Nocturnal diarrhoea was a significant symptom not previously reported.

5-32 CFS subjects showed slightly delayed oesophageal clearance, but overall there was no significant difference from the control subjects, nor correlation of oesophageal clearance with symptoms. 23-32 patients showed a delay in liquid gastric emptying, and 12-32 a delay in solid gastric emptying with the delay significantly correlated with the mean symptom score for each p ≪ 0.001.

ConclusionsGI symptoms in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome are associated with objective changes of upper GI motility.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-230X-4-32 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Richard B Burnet - Barry E Chatterton


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