[Prevalence of dyspepsia in liver cirrhosis: a clinical and epidemiological investigation]

Minerva Med. 2001 Feb;92(1):7-12.
[Article in Italian]


Background: To evaluate the prevalence and severity of dyspepsia in patients with liver cirrhosis.

Methods: A questionnaire was distributed to 33 consecutive patients suffering from liver cirrhosis (22 males and 11 females, mean age 65.5 years; 24 with post-hepatitis liver cirrhosis and 9 with alcohol- based cirrhosis) to evaluate dyspeptic symptoms. Patients receiving prolonged treatment at home with anti-acid drugs immediately prior to hospitalisation were excluded from the study.

Results: Twenty-eight patients complained of dyspeptic disorders. An organic cause of symptoms could not be identified in 8 patients (24.2%), whereas the following were identified as the causes of organic dyspepsia in the remaining 20 patients, in order of frequency: gastroesophageal reflux disease (55%), congestive gastropathy (40%), gastric or duodenal ulcer (30%) and gallbladder stones (35%). Lastly, a combination of at least two of these morbid conditions was found in 10 patients (50%). The severity of dyspeptic symptoms was similar in both organic and functional forms; symptoms tend to occur with moderate intensity, worsening in parallel with the aggravation of liver disease.

Conclusions: Dyspepsia is a very frequent phenomenon in cirrhotic patients; it is normally sustained by an organic cause. The predominance of functional forms in liver cirrhosis is practically the same as that reported in the general population.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Dyspepsia / epidemiology*
  • Dyspepsia / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / complications*
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires