Uninvestigated Dyspepsia. Current treatment options in gastroenterology Ladabaum, U., Chey, W. D. 2002; 5 (2): 125-131


Dyspepsia, which is defined as pain or discomfort centered in the upper abdomen, is encountered frequently in primary care and subspecialty practice. Dyspepsia is a symptom complex caused by a heterogeneous group of disorders and diseases. A large fraction of patients with dyspepsia suffer from functional dyspepsia, in which no evidence of organic disease (typically on the basis of upper endoscopy) is found to explain persistent or recurrent symptoms. Initial management strategies for uninvestigated dyspepsia include empiric antisecretory therapy, the "test-and-treat" strategy for Helicobacter pylori, or prompt upper endoscopy. The cost-effectiveness of empiric therapy versus the test-and-treat strategy is dependent upon a number of variables including the prevalence of H. pylori infection, ulcer prevalence, and likelihood that an ulcer is due to H. pylori infection. As the prevalence of H. pylori infection falls and the likelihood of H. pylori negative ulcer increases, empiric antisecretory therapy will become more cost-effective. Upper endoscopy should be reserved for patients older than 45 to 50 years with symptom presentation and those with warning signs. Endoscopy also should be considered in those for whom empiric therapy or an attempt at the test-and-treat strategy fails. Common-sense dietary counseling can be helpful in patients with meal-related symptoms. Highly restrictive diets rarely improve symptoms and may be counterproductive if nutrition is compromised.

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