Self-administered symptom questionnaires in patients with dyspepsia and their yield in discriminating between endoscopic diagnoses

Dig Dis. 2002;20(2):191-8. doi: 10.1159/000067482.


Background/aims: Symptoms are generally considered to be poor predictors of organic findings in patients with dyspepsia. We aimed at evaluating whether specific gastrointestinal symptoms, identified by self-administered questionnaires, correlate with specific endoscopic diagnoses and discriminate organic from functional dyspepsia.

Methods: Adult patients with pain or discomfort centred in the upper abdominal region were consecutively enrolled. Patients with heartburn, acid regurgitation, or defaecation and bowel habit problems as their predominant symptoms were excluded. Three self-administered questionnaires were applied before an oesophagogastroduodenoscopy was performed.

Results: Among the 799 patients, 50.6% had a normal endoscopy. Endoscopic diagnoses comprised: non-erosive oesophagitis (7.5%), erosive oesophagitis (11.1%), Barrett's oesophagus (1.1%), gastritis/duodenitis (8.4%), gastric ulcer (4.5%), duodenal ulcer (8.3%), and cancer (1.3%). Non-dominant heartburn and acid regurgitation were significantly more common in patients with organic dyspepsia, whereas hunger pains and rumbling occurred more often in those with functional dyspepsia. Multivariate analyses demonstrated that younger age, female gender, high scores for hunger pain, rumbling, hard stools, low scores for heartburn, and acid regurgitation predicted functional dyspepsia.

Conclusions: Self-administered questionnaires revealed differences in the symptom patterns between patients with functional and organic dyspepsia. Furthermore, the health-related well-being in patients with functional and organic dyspepsia centred was impaired to the same extent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Barrett Esophagus / diagnosis
  • Duodenitis / diagnosis
  • Dyspepsia / etiology*
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal*
  • Esophageal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Esophagitis / diagnosis
  • Esophagoscopy*
  • Female
  • Gastritis / diagnosis
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptic Ulcer / diagnosis
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*