What are the diagnostic criteria for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

Updated: Dec 30, 2019
  • Author: Mohammad F El-Baba, MD; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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The diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome requires the identification of the symptoms characteristic of irritable bowel syndrome and the exclusion of other medical conditions with similar clinical presentations. Symptom-based criteria have been established for the diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome, which includes the Manning or, more recently, the Rome criteria. The pediatric working team adopted the Rome criteria in the adult population because these criteria seemed to apply equally well to children. The Rome criteria were initially published in 1999 (Rome II) and revised in 2006 (Rome III). Diagnostic Rome III criteria for childhood irritable bowel syndrome:  [23] Must include all of the following criteria, fulfilled at least once per week for at least 2 months prior to diagnosis:

  • Abdominal discomfort or pain associated with two or more of the following at least 25% of the time: Improved with defecation; onset associated with a change in frequency of stool; and/or onset associated with a change in form (appearance) of stool

  • No evidence of an inflammatory, anatomic, metabolic, or neoplastic process that explains the subject’s symptoms

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