Treatment failure in children diagnosed with constipation in a paediatric emergency department in relation to Rome III criteria

Eltorki M1, Bhattacharjee A2, Khan M3, Martin E4, Shyleyko R5, Freedman SB6. Paediatr Child Health. 2019 Jun;24(3):185-192. doi: 10.1093/pch/pxy121. Epub 2018 Oct 3.


Author information

Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, McMaster Children's Hospital, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.

Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta.

Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta.

Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario.

Department of Pediatrics, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta.

Sections of Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Gastroenterology, Alberta Children's Hospital, Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta.


OBJECTIVE: To determine if treatment failure varies based on ROME III classification and adherence to guideline congruent therapy among children diagnosed in an emergency department with functional constipation.

METHODS: Children aged 1 month to 18 years who were diagnosed with constipation in a paediatric emergency department underwent chart review and 7-day phone follow-up to complete the ROME III questionnaire, confirm treatments administered, and assess treatment failure. Participants were classified according to the ROME III criteria as having functional constipation (FC) or irritable bowel syndrome - constipation (IBS-C) subtype. The primary outcome was treatment failure defined as ≥ 2 of the following: 1) presenting symptom persistence; 2) < 1 bowel movement every other day; 3) pain/difficulty passing stools; and 4) abdominal pain between bowel movements.

RESULTS: Five hundred and thirteen children completed follow-up; 40% (204/513) had FC, 23% (118/513) IBS-C, and 37% (191/513) did not meet either criteria. Treatment failure rates in children who received guideline congruent treatment were 28% (38/135) among those classified as FC and 43% (37/86) among those with IBS-C; P=0.02, a difference of 15% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.02, 0.27). On regression analysis, ROME III classification was not an independent predictor of treatment failure (odds ratio [OR]: 1.56 [95% CI: 0.97, 2.51]). At 7-day follow up, pain in between bowel movements was present in 22% (44/204) in FC patients versus 45% (53/118) of IBS-C patients; P=0.001.

CONCLUSIONS: Treatment failure rates in children who receive guideline congruent therapy are higher among those with IBS-C, however, after adjustment for known confounders the relationship was not statistically significant.

© Copyright 2013-2022 GI Health Foundation. All rights reserved.
This site is maintained as an educational resource for US healthcare providers only. Use of this website is governed by the GIHF terms of use and privacy statement.