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Pubmed-Commonly used biomarkers do not contribute to diagnosing irritable bowel syndrome


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Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2021 Nov 12. doi: 10.1097/MEG.0000000000002312. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this article was to examine the costs and effectiveness of standardized blood and fecal investigations in patients fulfilling the Rome criteria for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

METHODS: We conducted a real-life cohort study in patients fulfilling the Rome III criteria for IBS without red flag signs or symptoms, in a center of excellence for IBS patients from 1 January 2015 till 1 January 2019. Standardized blood and fecal investigations [hemoglobin (Hb), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), coeliac serology, and fecal calprotectin (FCP)] were performed during the first consultation. Patients were followed for at least 1 year. Primary outcome was the probability of another diagnosis than IBS with subsequent overall costs.

RESULTS: A total of 218 patients were included. In approximately 200 patients blood and fecal investigations were performed and 47 patients underwent a colonoscopy. Two-hundred ten patients were diagnosed with IBS, 5 with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), 1 with nonspecific acute ileitis, 1 with hyperthyroidism, and 1 with coeliac disease. The number needed to diagnose all included laboratory tests was 34, and for the individual test: TSH 197, coeliac serology 199, and FCP 50. The total costs were approximately €4900 to diagnose one patient with another diagnosis than IBS.

CONCLUSION: In our real-life cohort of adult patients under the age of 50 years fulfilling the Rome criteria for IBS without red flag symptoms, standardized blood, and fecal investigations have a very low diagnostic yield accompanied by high additional costs. Colonoscopy is not indicated in patients with Rome III positive IBS and normal FCP.

PMID:34775459 | DOI:10.1097/MEG.0000000000002312

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