Controversies in the Management of Functional Constipation in Children

M. J. van Mill, I. J. N. Koppen, M. A. Benninga

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose of review: Functional constipation (FC) in children is a common health problem with reported worldwide prevalence rates up to 32.2%. The majority of children with constipation respond to oral laxative treatment. After 5 years of intensive treatment, however, approximately 50% of children remain symptomatic. To discuss the evidence for new treatments in these children, including pre- and probiotics, pelvic physiotherapy, prucalopride, sacral nerve stimulation, and surgery, and to highlight the controversies surrounding them. Recent findings: Pre- and probiotics and prucalopride are not effective in the treatment of childhood constipation. Pelvic physiotherapy and sacral nerve stimulation are promising treatment options but larger trials are needed. Surgery for pediatric constipation is the treatment of last resort. Summary: Large, well-designed placebo-controlled trials with proper outcome measures, as suggested by the Rome foundation pediatric subcommittee on clinical trials, are necessary to provide more insight regarding the efficacy of new treatments in childhood constipation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number23
JournalCurrent Gastroenterology Reports
Volume21
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019

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