Functional gastrointestinal disorders have long been among the most common conditions diagnosed by gastroenterologists. As researchers gain a better understanding of the pathophysiology of these disorders, management approaches are evolving.
A panel of three experts will discuss the current science and review best practices during Monday’s AGA Institute/Rome Foundation Lectureship, titled Making Treatment Choices for Functional GI Disorders.
Jan Tack, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, head of the department of clinical and experimental medicine and head of clinic in the department of gastroenterology at University Hospital KU Leuven, Belgium, will discuss the importance of the initial evaluation and some of the key factors to consider when making a diagnosis and deciding on a treatment approach.
“We have management algorithms that outline diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to patients with a single condition. But the reality is that many patients have more than one coexisting or overlapping condition, and there’s little guidance on how to handle this,” Dr. Tack said. “In fact, overlap is more the rule than the exception — irritable bowel syndrome with overlapping dyspepsia, for example. Identifying the dominant condition is the first step and making treatment choices in relation to the overlap is the second. You may end up with combination therapies and will need to follow these patients closely to monitor their improvement and adjust as necessary.”
In another presentation, Lin Chang, MD, AGAF, will discuss the pathophysiology and treatment of functional GI disorders with comorbid conditions. Dr. Chang is professor of medicine in the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases and co-director of the Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.
“Starting with a thorough patient history is really important, including their family history and a detailed diet history. You also want to know about any previous diagnostic testing they’ve had, any previous treatments they’ve received and their most bothersome symptoms,” Dr. Chang said. “While patients with these disorders are defined by certain symptom-based criteria for the diagnosis, this is a heterogeneous population and there are a number of factors beyond just the diagnosis that you need to consider when you’re trying to determine the optimal management approach.”
The session’s final presenter, Magnus Simrén, MD, PhD, AGAF, professor of gastroenterology at the University of Gothenburg and senior consultant in the department of internal medicine at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden, will discuss the use of biomarkers to guide and improve treatment response of functional GI disorders.
Rome Foundation President Douglas A. Drossman, MD, AGAF, co-director emeritus of the University of North Carolina Center for Functional GI and Motility Disorders, Chapel Hill, will co-moderate the session alongside Rome Foundation board member Max J. Schmulson, MD, professor of medicine at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City.
Please refer to the DDW Mobile App or the Program & Exhibits section in Monday’s issue for the time and location of this and other DDW® events.