Functional abdominal pain disorders in children

Shaman Rajindrajith, Judith Zeevenhooven, Niranga Manjuri Devanarayana, Bonaventure Jayasiri Crispus Perera, Marc A. Benninga

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Chronic abdominal pain is a common problem in pediatric practice. The majority of cases fulfill the Rome IV criteria for functional abdominal pain disorders (FAPDs). At times, these disorders may lead to rather serious repercussions. Area covered: We have attempted to cover current knowledge on epidemiology, pathophysiology, risk factors related to pathophysiology, clinical evaluation and management of children with FAPDs. Expert commentary: FAPDs are a worldwide problem with a pooled prevalence of 13.5%. There are a number of predisposing factors and pathophysiological mechanisms including stressful events, child maltreatment, visceral hypersensitivity, altered gastrointestinal motility and change in intestinal microbiota. It is possible that the environmental risk factors intricately interact with genes through epigenetic mechanisms to contribute to the pathophysiology. The diagnosis mainly depends on clinical evaluation. Commonly used pharmacological interventions do not play a major role in relieving symptoms. Centrally directed, nonpharmacological interventions such as hypnotherapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy have shown both short and long term efficacy in relieving pain in children with FAPDs. However, these interventions are time consuming and need specially trained staff and therefore, not currently available at grass root level. Clinicians and researchers should join hands in searching for more pragmatic and effective therapeutic modalities to improve overall care of children with FAPDs
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-390
JournalExpert Review of Gastroenterology & Hepatology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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