Background Visceral hypersensitivity is frequently observed in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Previous studies have shown that administration of a meal can aggravate symptoms or increase visceroperception in IBS patients. We investigated whether meal ingestion could increase the sensitivity of the barostat procedure for the detection of visceral hypersensitivity in IBS patients.
Methods Seventy-one IBS patients and 30 healthy controls (HC) were included in the study. All subjects underwent a barostat procedure under fasted and postprandial conditions to measure visceroperception. Urge, discomfort, and pain were scored on a visual analog scale. Furthermore, percentages of hypersensitive IBS patients and HC were calculated and dynamic rectal compliance was assessed.
Key Results In IBS patients, urge, discomfort, and pain scores were significantly increased postprandially vs the fasted state. The HC showed increased scores for urge and pain only. Rectal dynamic compliance remained unaltered in both groups. Postprandial hypersensitivity percentages did not significantly differ vs the fasted state in IBS patients, nor in HC.
Conclusions & Inferences Postprandial barostat measurement enhances visceroperception in IBS but has no added value to detect visceral hypersensitivity in individual IBS patients.