Background Autonomic dysfunction, smooth muscle fibrosis and vascular damage lead to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) in Systemic Sclerosis (SSc). SIBO is characterized by diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, malabsorption and malnutrition.
Objectives To evaluate by NIH PROMIS® gastrointestinal symptoms scales and SIBO by hydrogen breath test (HBT) in patients with SSc.
Methods We include 68 patients with SSc (ACR-EULAR 2015) who signed informed consent. NIH PROMIS®questionarie was applied to evaluated gastrointestinal symptoms and classified in not symptomatic, least, mildy, moderately and most symptomatic. Glucose HBT was applied after 14 hours fast, oral hygiene and 30 days free of antibiotics. Patients who has a negative HBT with symptoms associated to glucose ingestion we repeat test with lactulose.
Results We applied questionnaire to 58 SSc patients, age 52 (26–75)years, 65 (96%) female and 3 (4%) males, disease duration 13 (1–40) years, limited SSc 41 (59%) and diffuse 27 (41%), body mass index 24 (12–39).
They are using prednisone (28%), micofenolate (14%), methotrexate (19%), azatioprin (5%), amlodipine or nifedipine (33%). Patients had continuous and very high increase of parts per millon (ppm) of exhaled Hydrogen: min0: 13 ppm (5–21), min15:17 ppm (5–43), min30:17 (3–49), min45:18ppm (7–103), min 60:22ppm (8–145), min90:18ppm (2–250), min120:25ppm (3–212), min150:71ppm (3–235). Normal values: <10 ppm during total test (Figure1).
Frequency of gastrointestinal symptoms were flatulence (87.5vs81.2%), nausea/vomiting (72.7vs37.6%), constipation (65.6vs40%), diarrhea (45.2vs33.4%), abdominal pain %) and incontinence (39.4vs31.3%) respectively between SCB (+) positive and negative.
Hyperproduction of hydrogen in breath had a direct correlation to severity of their symptoms (p≤0.05). The severity of diarrhea was in close relation to the severity of its rectal incontinence (r=0.73,p=0.001), and greater abdominal pain with flatulence (r=72, p=0.001).
Conclusions Gastrointestinal symptoms are common in SSc regardless of whether they have SIBO. However, a higher Row Score SGI or moderate severe status (NIH PROMIS) correlates with high H scores from the 30th minute, therefore, the questionnaire is useful within the SSc assessment.
Disclosure of Interest None declared