Published online Dec 21, 2013. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i47.9137
Revised: September 23, 2013
Accepted: September 29, 2013
Published online: December 21, 2013
Impaired gastric accommodation is one of the most important etiologic factors in the pathophysiology of functional dyspepsia. Ultrasound is a potential alternative method to study changes in gastric volume as a reflection of gastric accommodation. Ultrasound is suitable for patients because it is a non-invasive, easily repeated and non-radioactive procedure, and a previous study has demonstrated the feasibility of 3-dimensional ultrasound in examining functional dyspepsia. The brief article by Fan et al demonstrated that both the proximal gastric area and volume, measured by 2- and 3-dimensional ultrasound respectively, were significantly smaller in patients with functional dyspepsia than in healthy controls. These results are very interesting, but we raise the relevant point that it should have been mandatory to study both changes in gastric volume and their relationship with upper gastrointestinal symptoms in functional dyspepsia. In fact, the relationship between cardinal symptoms and several pathophysiologic mechanisms in functional dyspepsia remains a matter of debate. Moreover, further evaluation of distal gastric volume that has been previously implicated in the origin of functional dyspeptic symptoms is advisable. Therefore, impaired gastric accommodation does not serve as a clear marker of the cardinal symptoms experienced by patients with functional dyspepsia in daily life.
Core tip: Proximal gastric area and volume measured respectively by 2- and 3-dimensional ultrasound were significantly smaller in patients with functional dyspepsia compared to those of healthy controls. Hence, they could be used to assess accommodation impairment, but further prospective studies are needed to establish their clinical role in diagnosis of functional dyspepsia.