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Volume 83 - 2020 - Fasc.3 - Expert Point of View

Diagnostic approach to chronic diarrhoea and recent insights in treatment of functional diarrhoea including irritable bowel syndrome

Chronic diarrhoea is a common clinical problem with a plethora of possible causes and underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. The value of diagnostic assessment by laboratory testing, stool analysis, evaluation of bile acid malabsorption, endoscopy, breath testing and radiological imaging techniques is discussed. The decision to focus investigations on excluding certain pathologies remains a matter of clinical judgement. Functional diarrhoea and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) being the most frequent causes of chronic diarrhoea, recent insights in the role of dietary management, management of dysbiosis by pre-, pro- and antibiotics and faecal microbiota transplantation, as well as targeted treatment by spasmolytics, 5-HT3 receptor antagonists and eluxadoline will be reviewed. (Acta gastroenterol. belg., 2020, 83, 461-474).