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Gut pain & visceral hypersensitivity

, : Gut pain & visceral hypersensitivity. British Journal of Pain 7(1): 39-47

Visceral pain is a highly complex entity whose experience is variable in health and disease. It can occur in patients with organic disease and also in those without any readily identifiable structural or biochemical abnormality such as in the functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID). Despite considerable progress in our understanding of the culpable underlying mechanisms significant knowledge gaps remain, representing a significant unmet need in gastroenterology. A key, but not universal, pathological feature is that patients with FGID often display heightened sensitivity to experimental gut stimulation, termed visceral hypersensitivity. A plethora of factors have been proposed to account for this epiphenomenon including peripheral sensitization, central sensitization, aberrant central processing, genetic, psychological and abnormalities within the stress responsive systems. Further research is needed, bringing together complementary research themes from a diverse array of academic disciplines ranging from gastroenterology to nociceptive physiology to functional neuro-imaging, to address this unmet need.


PMID: 26516496

DOI: 10.1177/2049463713479229

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