J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2021 Oct 30;27(4):612-625. doi: 10.5056/jnm20151.
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Some inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients in remission suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)-like symptoms (IBD-IBS). The pathogenesis has not yet been elucidated. The study aim is to evaluate relationships among quality of life (QOL), psychological status, and visceral sensitivity, and explore the formation mechanism of IBD-IBS.
METHODS: Forty-seven patients with Crohn's disease in remission, 24 ulcerative colitis in remission, 26 IBS, and 20 healthy controls were included in the study. The abdominal pain, QOL, anxiety, and depression were evaluated through questionnaires. Visceral sensitivity was measured by rectal balloon distension. The serum levels of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and nerve growth factor (NGF) were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The expressions of tryptase, 5-HT, NGF, and related receptors in colonic tissues were detected by immunohistochemistry and western blot.
RESULTS: Prevalence of IBS-like symptoms in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis patients in clinical remission was 29.8% and 50.0%, respectively. The QOL was lower, the anxiety/depression scores were higher in IBD-IBS patients than those without IBS-like symptoms. Additionally, patients with IBD-IBS existed visceral hypersensitivity. Besides, abdominal pain was associated with poor QOL, visceral hypersensitivity, anxiety, and depression in IBD-IBS patients. The number of mast cells (MCs) and expressions of 5-HT, NGF, and related receptors were higher in IBD-IBS patients than those with no such symptoms. The serum levels of 5-HT and NGF positively correlated with abdominal pain and visceral hypersensitivity.
CONCLUSION: IBD-IBS patients may have low QOL and psychological abnormalities, as wells as visceral hypersensitivity which may be related to increased 5-HT and NGF levels released from activated mast cells.