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On October 12, 2022, we reviewed a study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, that highlights the importance of expanding clinical profiles of irritable bowel syndrome beyond GI symptoms based on predominant bowel habits.
Researchers identified 4021 IBS patients and 12 063 non-IBS control patients. Using 26 variables to distinguish IBS cases from control cases, the resulting optimal clustering revealed 7 latent clusters. According to the study, 2 clusters had moderate-to-severe perceived impairment in health, greater pain but less bowel dysfunction and 3 were predominated by neurological, psychological, or neuropsychological complaints. The last 2 had greater bowel dysfunction (diarrhea or constipation predominance) but less pain, perceived health impairment, and other comorbidities.
"IBS phenotype has multiple dimensions that may be driven by unique pathophysiology, resulting in variable clinical course. Clinical trials and personalized treatment approaches may benefit from going beyond the current concepts of predominant bowel patterns and targeting specific clusters of IBS patients," wrote investigators.