Objectives: Symptom-based diagnostic criteria have improved recognition and standardization of pediatric functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs). We used Rome 3 diagnostic criteria to determine the prevalence of FGIDs in pediatric gastroenterology clinic. In the process, we developed a diagnostic questionnaire for infants and toddlers.
Methods: We enrolled new patients ≤18 years referred during 19 months to a pediatric gastroenterology clinic. Subjects or parents completed a demographic survey and a the Questionnaire on Pediatric Gastrointestinal symptoms, Rome 3 Version (if ≥4 years, or a new infant-toddler questionnaire) before their appointment.
Results: We acquired data from 976 subjects: 476 boys, 592 white. Of 332 subjects <4 years, 172 (52%) met diagnostic criteria for ≥1 FGIDs. Of 644 subjects ≥4 years, 486 (75%) met diagnostic criteria for ≥1 FGIDs. Thirty one (9%) subjects <4 years and 170 (26%) subjects ≥4 years met the criteria for ≥2 FGIDs. Of the total sample of subjects <4 years, common FGIDs included functional constipation (29%), infant regurgitation (13%), and cyclic vomiting syndrome (10%). Of the total sample of subjects ≥4 years, common FGIDs included irritable bowel syndrome (36%), abdominal migraine (19%), functional constipation (17%), cyclic vomiting syndrome (8%), functional abdominal pain syndrome (7%), aerophagia (7%), and functional dyspepsia (7%).
Conclusions: More than half of new pediatric gastrointestinal clinic patients met the Rome 3 criteria for ≥1 FGIDs. Satisfying the criteria may facilitate diagnosis on the first visit.