Rome III functional constipation and irritable bowel syndrome with constipation are similar disorders within a spectrum of sensitization, regulated by serotonin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • Chander Shekhar
  • Phillip J. Monaghan
  • Julie Morris
  • Basma Issa
  • Brian Keevil
  • Lesley A. Houghton


Background & Aims Patients with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) and patients with functional constipation (FC) have similar symptoms, and these disorders overlap in their diagnostic features. Little is known about their overlap in physiology or the involvement of serotonin signaling. We investigated relationships between platelet-depleted plasma concentrations of serotonin, gastrointestinal symptoms, and motor-sensory function in patients with FC or IBS-C compared with healthy volunteers (controls). Methods We measured platelet-depleted plasma concentrations of serotonin in fasting and fed individuals with IBS-C (n = 23; 19-50 years old), FC (n = 11; 25-46 years old), and controls (n = 23; 20-49 years old) recruited in Manchester, UK. We also quantified abdominal and bowel-related symptoms, rectal sensitivity, oro-cecal transit, and colonic (whole intestine) transit. Results Patients with IBS-C or FC had similar baseline symptoms, bowel habits, oro-cecal and colonic transit, and fasting concentrations of serotonin and response to meal ingestion. Only patients with IBS-C had increased symptoms after ingestion of a meal (P

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-757
Number of pages8
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013