OBJECTIVES: To describe the prevalence and character of chronic abdominal pain in a group of patients with long-term spinal cord injury (SCI) and to assess predictors of abdominal pain. STUDY DESIGN: Postal survey. SETTING: Members of the Danish Paraplegic Association. METHODS: We mailed a questionnaire to 284 members of the Danish Paraplegic Association who met the inclusion criteria (member for at least 10 years). The questionnaire contained questions about cause and level of spinal injury, colorectal function and pain/discomfort. RESULTS: Seventy percent returned the questionnaire (133 men and 70 women). Mean age was 47 years. Thirty-four percent reported having chronic abdominal pain or discomfort. Onset of pain was later than 5 years after their SCI in 53%. Low defecation frequency was more common in patients with abdominal pain/discomfort and constipation more often affected their quality of life compared to patients without abdominal pain/discomfort. The most common descriptors were annoying, cramping/tightening, tender, sickening and shooting/jolting. There was no relation to age, time since injury or level of injury, but more women than men reported abdominal pain/discomfort. There was no relation of abdominal pain to other types of pain. CONCLUSION: Chronic pain located in the abdomen is frequent in patients with long-term SCI. The delayed onset following SCI and the relation to constipation suggest that constipation plays an important role for this type of pain in the spinal cord injured.
Despite living with a gluten-free diet, Swedish women with celiac disease report a higher rate of gastrointestinal symptoms than women without the disease. This study was designed to assess the impact of active patient education on gastrointestinal symptoms in women with a gluten-free diet. A total of 106 Swedish women, aged 20 years or older, with celiac disease on a gluten-free diet for a minimum of 5 years took part in a randomized controlled trial. The intervention group (n = 54) underwent a 10-session educational program, "Celiac School," based on problem-based learning. Controls (n = 52) were sent information regarding celiac disease at home. The outcome measure was gastrointestinal symptoms at 10 weeks and 6 months after intervention, assessed with the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale. After 10 weeks of "Celiac School," the participating women reported significant improvements that remained 6 months later (p = .029). The controls did not improve significantly. A comparison of the development of scores, from baseline to 10 weeks, could not demonstrate a significant difference in the overall index between the 2 groups but showed a significant improvement concerning 1 of its components, namely the index reflecting Abdominal Pain (p = .007). Intervention methods should be refined to reach an even more pronounced effect.
Technical improvement in endoscopic and manometric technique has allowed direct manometry of the human sphincter of Oddi (SO). The aim of the present review is to describe the present status of physiologic and clinical knowledge of the SO, with emphasis on contributions from Danish Gastroenterology.
The SO is a zone with an elevated basal pressure with superimposed phasic contractions. It acts mainly as a resistor in the regulation of bile flow. Neurohormonal regulation influences the motility pattern. The contractions are under the control of slow waves. Clinical subgroups show abnormalcy in SO manometric pattern especially in patients with biliary or pancreatic pain without demonstrable organic substrate. Evidence suggests that endoscopic sphincterotomy may be of benefit in these patients.