Relationship between symptom pattern, assessed by the PAGI-SYM questionnaire, and gastric sensorimotor dysfunction in functional dyspepsia

S Kindt, D Dubois, L Van Oudenhove, P Caenepeel, J Arts, R Bisschops, J Tack

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37 Citations (Scopus)


The patient assessment of upper gastrointestinal symptom severity index (PAGI-SYM) questionnaire was recently developed and validated for the evaluation of therapeutic responsiveness in functional dyspepsia (FD). Functional dyspepsia is a heterogeneous disorder, with different pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the symptom pattern. The relationship between PAGI-SYM scores and putative pathophysiological mechanisms has not been studied. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between PAGI-SYM subscales and gastric emptying, gastric sensitivity and gastric accommodation in FD. A total of 161 consecutive FD patients underwent Helicobacter pylori (HP), gastric barostat and standardized gastric emptying testing (n = 126), and completed the PAGI-SYM questionnaire. Relationships between scores for the six subscales (heartburn/regurgitation, nausea/vomiting, fullness/satiety, bloating, upper abdominal pain, lower abdominal pain) and gastric function were analysed using Pearson's linear correlation, multiple regression analysis, chi-square and Student's t-tests. Gastric emptying was significantly correlated with scores for heartburn/regurgitation (r = 0.26), nausea/vomiting (r = 0.19), fullness/satiety (r = 0.20), bloating (r = 0.21) and lower abdominal pain (r = 0.22; all P < 0.05). Patients with delayed emptying had significantly higher scores for each of these subscales (all P < 0.05). Discomfort volume during gastric distension was significantly correlated with scores for fullness/satiety (r = -0.27), bloating (r = -0.23), heartburn/regurgitation (r = -0.21), and upper abdominal pain (r = -0.20). Patients with hypersensitivity to distension had significantly higher scores for fullness/satiety (P < 0.05). At different cut-off levels of symptom severities, consistent associations were found between fullness/satiety and gastric discomfort volume, between preprandial volumes and upper abdominal pain, compliance and upper abdominal pain, and between bloating and gastric discomfort volume. Multiple regression analysis revealed that gastric emptying rate contributed significantly to models for the severity of these subscales. The importance of discomfort volume disappeared in favour of gender when sex was included in the model. No significant correlations were found with HP status or with gastric accommodation. PAGI-SYM scores are mainly correlated with gastric emptying rate and with gastric hypersensitivity. Multivariate analysis suggests that the questionnaire may be useful in the evaluation of gastroprokinetics. Its role in the evaluation of drugs that alter gastric sensitivity is less clear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1183-e105
JournalNeurogastroenterology & Motility
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009


  • Adult
  • Catheterization
  • Dyspepsia/physiopathology
  • Female
  • Gastric Emptying/physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Stomach/innervation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


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