Background Dyspeptic symptoms are common and mainly due to functional dyspepsia (FD). The Rome IV criteria mandate a normal upper gastrointestinal (UGI) endoscopy before diagnosing FD. However, endoscopies are costly, resource-intensive procedures that generate substantial waste. Hence, simpler means of diagnosing FD are desirable.
Objectives To determine what proportion of UGI endoscopies are represented by patients with symptoms compatible with Rome IV FD, and the diagnostic yield in this cohort stratified according to alarm features.
Methods Adult patients attending a UK centre for outpatient UGI endoscopy completed a preprocedure questionnaire on demographics, medical history, alarm features, mood, somatisation and GI symptoms. Alarm features were defined as age ≥55 years, dysphagia, anaemia, unintentional weight loss, UGI bleed or a family history of UGI cancer. Clinically significant endoscopic findings were cancers, Barrett’s oesophagus, erosive oesophagitis, peptic ulcers or strictures.
Results Of 387 patients attending for an outpatient non-surveillance diagnostic UGI endoscopy, 221 had symptoms compatible with FD whereas 166 did not. Approximately 80% in both groups had alarm features, with a similar prevalence of clinically significant endoscopic findings at ~10%. UGI endoscopy was normal in a cohort of 9% (n=35) with symptoms compatible with FD and no alarm features, while benign peptic ulcer was noted in two of 29 cases without FD symptoms and no alarm features.
Conclusion 1-in-10 UGI endoscopies are performed in patients with symptoms compatible with FD and no alarm features, in whom there is no diagnostic yield. We recommend such patients receive a positive diagnosis of FD without endoscopy.
- functional dyspepsia
Data availability statement
Data are available on reasonable request.
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Contributors HLF and IA contributed to the study design and its conduct. HLF, EN and IA collected and analysed the data, wrote and revised the manuscript prior to final submission. IA is guarantor of the article.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.