Background: Recent studies have described a high percentage of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, the prevalence of SIBO has not been well established in other functional disorders.
Aim: To evaluate the prevalence of SIBO in patients with different functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID).
Material and methods: Patients with FGID completed a self-administered questionnaire providing information to diagnose functional disorders on the basis of Rome II criteria. SIBO was assessed using a standardized lactulose breath test. A basal value of breath hydrogen (H2) >20 ppm and/or two lectures of HZ values >20 ppm during the first 60 minutes were considered suggestive of SIBO.
Results: We studied 367 patients with a mean age of 50 years (87% females). Of these, 225 had IBS (45 constipation predominant, 121 diarrhea predominant and 59 alternating type), 33 had functional constipation, 83 had functional bloating and 26 had functional diarrhea. SIBO was found in 76% of patients with IBS, 73% of those with functional constipation, 69% of those with functional diarrhea and 68% of those with functional bloating.
Conclusions: This study confirms a high percentage of SIBO in patients with IBS and other FGID. The eradication of SIBO should be considered as a therapeutic tool in these patients.