Should we still subcategorize helicobacter pylori-associated dyspepsia as functional disease?

J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2011 Oct;17(4):366-71. doi: 10.5056/jnm.2011.17.4.366. Epub 2011 Oct 31.


Functional dyspepsia is a group of disorders featuring symptoms believed to be derived from the stomach and duodenum such as upper abdominal discomfort, pain, postprandial fullness and early satiety. A key diagnostic requisite is the absence of organic, metabolic, or systemic disorders to explain "dyspeptic symptoms." Therefore, when peptic ulcer diseases (including scars), erosive esophagitis and upper gastrointestinal malignancies are found at endoscopic examinations, the diagnosis of functional dyspepsia is excluded. One notable exception, however, is Helicobacter pylori infection. According to the Rome III definition, H. pylori infection is included in functional dyspepsia. This is an obvious deviation from the diagnostic principle of functional dyspepsia, since H. pylori infection is a definite cause of mucosal inflammation, which affects a number of important gastric physiologies such as acid secretion, gastric endocrine function and motility. The chronic persistent nature of infection also results in more dramatic mucosal changes such as atrophy or intestinal metaplasia, the presence of which in the esophagus (Barrett's esophagus) precludes the diagnosis of functional dyspepsia. Since careful endoscopic examination can diagnose reliably H. pylori infection not only in Japan but also in Western contries, it is now feasible and more logical to exclude patients with chronic gastritis caused by H. pylori infection as having dyspeptic symptoms. It is time to establish the Asian consensus to declare that H. pylori infection should be separated from functional dyspepsia.

Keywords: Dyspepsia; Functional dyspepsia; Gastric acid; Helicobacter pylori; Ulcer.