Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Clinical Characteristics, Psychological Factors, and Peripheral Cytokines

Gastroenterol Res Pract. 2016;2016:3230859. doi: 10.1155/2016/3230859. Epub 2016 Jun 9.


Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Psychosocial factors and low-grade colonic mucosal immune activation have been suggested to play important roles in the pathophysiology of IBS. In total, 94 patients with IBS and 13 healthy volunteers underwent a 10 g lactulose hydrogen breath test (HBT) with concurrent (99m)Tc scintigraphy. All participants also completed a face-to-face questionnaire survey, including the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Life Event Stress (LES), and general information. Serum tumour necrosis factor-α, interleukin- (IL-) 6, IL-8, and IL-10 levels were measured. The 89 enrolled patients with IBS and 13 healthy controls had no differences in baseline characteristics. The prevalence of SIBO in patients with IBS was higher than that in healthy controls (39% versus 8%, resp.; p = 0.026). Patients with IBS had higher anxiety, depression, and LES scores, but anxiety, depression, and LES scores were similar between the SIBO-positive and SIBO-negative groups. Psychological disorders were not associated with SIBO in patients with IBS. The serum IL-10 level was significantly lower in SIBO-positive than SIBO-negative patients with IBS.