Current Research on IBS – July 2014


Current Research on IBS is the collection of latest studies on Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) from PubMed, the National Library of Medicine’s search service of NCBI.


 1. Constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome: A review of current and emerging drug therapies

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a highly prevalent medical condition that adversely affects patient quality of life and constitutes a significant economic burden on healthcare resources. A large proportion of patients suffer from the constipation subtype of IBS (IBS-C), most commonly afflicting older individuals and those with a lower socioeconomic status. Conventional pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatment options have limited efficacies and/or significant adverse events, which lead to increased long-term health care expenditures. Failure to effectively treat IBS-C patients over the past decades has largely been due to a poor understanding of disease pathophysiology, lack of a global view of the patient, and an inappropriate selection of patients and treatment endpoints in clinical trials. In recent years, however, more effective and safer drugs have been developed for the treatment of IBS-C. The advancement in the area of pharmacologic treatment is based on new knowledge of the pathophysiologic basis of IBS-C and the development of drugs with increased selectivity within pharmacologic classes with recognized efficacies. This narrative review covers the spectrum of available drugs and their mechanisms of action, as well as the efficacy and safety profiles of each as determined in relevant clinical trials that have investigated treatment options for IBS-C and chronic constipation. A brief summary of laxative-based treatment options is presented, followed by up-to-date assessments for three classes of drugs: prokinetics, prosecretory agents, and bile acid modulators.

2. Irritable bowel syndrome: A concise review of current treatment concepts

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders causing patients to seek medical treatment. It is relatively resource intensive and the source of significant morbidity. Recent insights into the pathophysiology and treatment of IBS has given clinicians more options than ever to contend with this disorder. The purpose of our paper is to review older, “classic” treatments for IBS as well as newer agents and “alternative” therapies. We discuss the evidence base of these drugs and provide context to help develop appropriate treatment plans for IBS patients.

3. Effect of Increased Bile Acid Synthesis or Fecal Excretion in Irritable Bowel Syndrome-Diarrhea

OBJECTIVES: Approximately 25% of patients with irritable bowel syndrome-diarrhea (IBS-D) have increased total fecal bile acids (BA) and serum C4 (surrogate for BA synthesis). BA synthesis-related genes (KLB and FGFR4) are associated with colonic transit (CT) in IBS-D. Our aims were: (i) to compare phenotype and pathophysiology in IBS-D patients with increased or normal fecal excretion or synthesis of BA; and (ii) to explore association of variations in two candidate bile-acid synthesis genes (KLB and FGFR4) in these two subgroups of IBS-D.

METHODS: A total of 64 IBS-D patients underwent on one occasion: fasting serum C4 and FGF19, total fecal fat and BA excretion, CT, intestinal and colonic permeability, and candidate genotyping (rs17618244 (KLB), rs351855 (FGFR4)). Colonic sensation and tone were measured in 47 of the IBS-D patients. IBS-D subgroups were identified by fecal BA >2,337 mM per 48 h or by serum C4 >47.1 ng/ml.

RESULTS: IBS-D patients with fecal BA >2,337 mM per 48 h (19/54) had significantly greater body mass index, fecal fat, percent chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA) in feces, and intestinal permeability, and borderline increased CT (P=0.13). Those IBS-D patients with serum C4 >47.1 ng/ml (13/54) had increased total fecal BA excretion and borderline increased colonic permeability. Variants in genes involved in feedback regulation of BA synthesis (KLB, P=0.06 and FGFR4, P=0.09) were potentially associated with the subgroup with elevated serum C4.

CONCLUSIONS: IBS-D with increased BA excretion or synthesis is associated with significant pathophysiological changes relative to patients with normal BA profile. BA diarrhea is identified more effectively with total fecal BA than with serum C4.Am J Gastroenterol advance online publication, 29 July 2014; doi:10.1038/ajg.2014.215.

4. Irritable bowel syndrome: A concise review of current treatment concepts

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders causing patients to seek medical treatment. It is relatively resource intensive and the source of significant morbidity. Recent insights into the pathophysiology and treatment of IBS has given clinicians more options than ever to contend with this disorder. The purpose of our paper is to review older, “classic” treatments for IBS as well as newer agents and “alternative” therapies. We discuss the evidence base of these drugs and provide context to help develop appropriate treatment plans for IBS patients.

5. Irritable bowel syndrome: A disease still searching for pathogenesis, diagnosis and therapy

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most frequently diagnosed functional gastrointestinal disorder in primary and secondary care. It is characterised by abdominal discomfort, pain and changes in bowel habits that can have a serious impact on the patient’s quality of life. The pathophysiology of IBS is not yet completely clear. Genetic, immune, environmental, inflammatory, neurological and psychological factors, in addition to visceral hypersensitivity, can all play an important role, one that most likely involves the complex interactions between the gut and the brain (gut-brain axis). The diagnosis of IBS can only be made on the basis of the symptoms of the Rome III criteria. Because the probability of organic disease in patients fulfilling the IBS criteria is very low, a careful medical history is critical and should pay particular attention to the possible comorbidities. Nevertheless, the severity of the patient’s symptoms or concerns sometimes compels the physician to perform useless and/or expensive diagnostic tests, transforming IBS into a diagnosis of exclusion. The presence of alarming symptoms (fever, weight loss, rectal bleeding, significant changes in blood chemistry), the presence of palpable abdominal masses, any recent onset of symptoms in patient aged over 50 years, the presence of symptoms at night, and a familial history of celiac disease, colorectal cancer and/or inflammatory bowel diseases all warrant investigation. Treatment strategies are based on the nature and severity of the symptoms, the degree of functional impairment of the bowel habits, and the presence of psychosocial disorders. This review examines and discusses the pathophysiological aspects and the diagnostic and therapeutic approaches available for patients with symptoms possibly related to IBS, pointing out controversial issues and the strengths and weaknesses of the current knowledge.

6. Methodological issues in the study of intestinal microbiota in irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is an intestinal functional disorder with the highest prevalence in the industrialized world. The intestinal microbiota (IM) plays a role in the pathogenesis of IBS and is not merely a consequence of this disorder. Previous research efforts have not revealed unequivocal microbiological signatures of IBS, and the experimental results are contradictory. The experimental methodologies adopted to investigate the complex intestinal ecosystem drastically impact the quality and significance of the results. Therefore, to consider the methodological aspects of the research on IM in IBS, we reviewed 29 relevant original research articles identified through a PubMed search using three combinations of keywords: “irritable bowel syndrome + microflora”, “irritable bowel syndrome + microbiota” and “irritable bowel syndrome + microbiome”. For each study, we reviewed the quality and significance of the scientific evidence obtained with respect to the experimental method adopted. The data obtained from each study were compared with all considered publications to identify potential inconsistencies and explain contradictory results. The analytical revision of the studies referenced in the present review has contributed to the identification of microbial groups whose relative abundance significantly alters IBS, suggesting that these microbial groups could be IM signatures for this syndrome. The identification of microbial biomarkers in the IM can be advantageous for the development of new diagnostic tools and novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of different subtypes of IBS.

7. Irritable bowel syndrome and food interaction

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders in Western countries. Despite the high prevalence of this disorders, the therapeutic management of these patients is often unsatisfactory. A number of factors have been suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis of IBS, including impaired motility and sensitivity, increased permeability, changes in the gut microbiome and alterations in the brain-gut axis. Also food seems to play a critical role: the most of IBS patients report the onset or the exacerbation of their symptoms after the meals. Recently, an increasing attention has been paid to the role of food in IBS. In this review we summarize the most recent evidences about the role of diet on IBS symptoms. A diet restricted in fermentable, poorly absorbed carbohydrates and sugar alcohols has beneficial effects on IBS symptoms. More studies are needed to improve our knowledge about the relationship between food and IBS. However, in the foreseeable future, dietary strategies will represent one of the key tools in the therapeutic management of patients with IBS.

8. Microbiota-host interactions in irritable bowel syndrome: Epithelial barrier, immune regulation and brain-gut interactions

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common, sometimes debilitating, gastrointestinal disorder worldwide. While altered gut motility and sensation, as well as aberrant brain perception of visceral events, are thought to contribute to the genesis of symptoms in IBS, a search for an underlying aetiology has, to date, proven unsuccessful. Recently, attention has been focused on the microbiota as a possible factor in the pathogenesis of IBS. Prompted by a number of clinical observations, such as the recognition of the de novo development of IBS following enteric infections, as well as descriptions of changes in colonic bacterial populations in IBS and supported by clinical responses to interventions, such as antibiotics and probiotics, that modify the microbiota, various approaches have been taken to investigating the microbiota-host response in IBS, as well as in animal models thereof. From such studies a considerable body of evidence has accumulated to indicate the activation or upregulation of both factors involved in bacterial engagement with the host as well host defence mechanisms against bacteria. Alterations in gut barrier function, occurring in response, or in parallel, to changes in the microbiota, have also been widely described and can be seen to play a pivotal role in generating and sustaining host immune responses both within and beyond the gut. In this manner a plausible hypothesis, based on an altered microbiota and/or an aberrant host response, for the pathogenesis, of at least some instances of IBS, can be generated.

9. Recent advances in pharmacological treatment of irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a highly prevalent functional disorder that reduces patients’ quality of life. It is a chronic disorder characterized by abdominal pain or discomfort associated with disordered defecation in the absence of identifiable structural or biochemical abnormalities. IBS imposes a significant economic burden to the healthcare system. Alteration in neurohumoral mechanisms and psychological factors, bacterial overgrowth, genetic factors, gut motility, visceral hypersensitivity, and immune system factors are currently believed to influence the pathogenesis of IBS. It is possible that there is an interaction of one or more of these etiologic factors leading to heterogeneous symptoms of IBS. IBS treatment is predicated upon the patient’s most bothersome symptoms. Despite the wide range of medications and the high prevalence of the disease, to date no completely effective remedy is available. This article reviews the literature from January 2008 to July 2013 on the subject of IBS peripherally acting pharmacological treatment. Drugs are categorized according to their administration for IBS-C, IBS-D or abdominal pain predominant IBS.

10. Intestinal microbiota in pathophysiology and management of irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional bowel disorder without any structural or metabolic abnormalities that sufficiently explain the symptoms, which include abdominal pain and discomfort, and bowel habit changes such as diarrhea and constipation. Its pathogenesis is multifactorial: visceral hypersensitivity, dysmotility, psychosocial factors, genetic or environmental factors, dysregulation of the brain-gut axis, and altered intestinal microbiota have all been proposed as possible causes. The human intestinal microbiota are composed of more than 1000 different bacterial species and 1014 cells, and are essential for the development, function, and homeostasis of the intestine, and for individual health. The putative mechanisms that explain the role of microbiota in the development of IBS include altered composition or metabolic activity of the microbiota, mucosal immune activation and inflammation, increased intestinal permeability and impaired mucosal barrier function, sensory-motor disturbances provoked by the microbiota, and a disturbed gut-microbiota-brain axis. Therefore, modulation of the intestinal microbiota through dietary changes, and use of antibiotics, probiotics, and anti-inflammatory agents has been suggested as strategies for managing IBS symptoms. This review summarizes and discusses the accumulating evidence that intestinal microbiota play a role in the pathophysiology and management of IBS.

Source: NCBI – PubMed

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