Pathophysiology and treatment of functional dyspepsia

J Clin Gastroenterol. May-Jun 2005;39(5 Suppl 3):S211-6. doi: 10.1097/01.mcg.0000156109.97999.d1.


Functional dyspepsia is a highly prevalent symptom complex and a heterogenous disorder. Recent studies showed potential associations between specific pathophysiologic disturbances and dyspeptic symptoms. Delayed gastric emptying reported in about 30% of patients with functional dyspepsia is associated with the symptoms of postprandial fullness, nausea, and vomiting. Impaired gastric accommodation present in 40% of functional dyspepsia patients is found to be associated with early satiety. Hypersensitivity to gastric distension is observed in 37% of functional dyspepsia patients and associated with the symptoms of postprandial pain, belching, and weight loss. Psychosocial factors and altered response to duodenal lipids or acid have also been identified as pathophysiologic mechanisms. Therapeutic options are still limited but targeted therapy directed at the underlying pathophysiology seems desirable. Thus, efforts to further elucidate underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms and identify the appropriate patient population using some type of pathophysiologic testing will be required.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dyspepsia / physiopathology*
  • Dyspepsia / therapy*
  • Enteric Nervous System / physiopathology*
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / drug effects
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / physiology
  • Humans
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Gastrointestinal Agents