Symptom pattern and pathophysiological correlates of weight loss in tertiary-referred functional dyspepsia

J. Tack*, M. P. Jones, G. Karamanolis, B. Coulie, D. Dubois

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


In patients with gastrointestinal symptoms, weight loss is an alarm symptom, indicative of organic disease. Recent studies reported weight loss in subsets of functional dyspepsia (FD) patients. The aim of this study was to analyse symptom patterns associated with weight loss in tertiary care FD. Six hundred and thirty-six FD patients (67% female, mean age 43 years) completed a dyspepsia questionnaire, and underwent gastric emptying and gastric barostat studies. After identifying independent symptom domains through orthogonal factor analysis, patients were clustered on the basis of symptom profile. Clusters were compared in terms of their association with weight loss and gastric emptying or sensorimotor function. Weight loss (4.2 kg on average) correlated most strongly with early satiety followed by nausea and vomiting (ρ respectively 0.38, 0.28 and 0.23, all P < 0.0001). Factor analysis revealed three factors: Factor 1 characterized by nausea, vomiting and early satiety; factor 2 by early satiety, postprandial fullness and bloating; and factor 3 by pain, epigastric burning and belching. Subsequent cluster analysis revealed six patient clusters. The most severe cluster, which loaded high on all three factors, and a cluster dominated factor 2 were associated with the highest average weight loss (6.8 and 8.0 kg, respectively). The former cluster was also characterized by visceral hypersensitivity and delayed gastric emptying. The lowest weight loss occurred in the two clusters that had depressed scores for both early satiety associated factors (2.4 and 2.5 kg, respectively). In tertiary care FD, weight loss is strongly associated with two early satiety associated symptom clusters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-e5
Number of pages9
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


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