Visceral Hypersensitivity

Zhou Q, Verne GN. New insights into visceral hypersensitivity–clinical implications in IBS. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2011 Jun;8(6):349-55.

Key points

  • Visceral and somatic hypersensitivity are present in some patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders
  • Injury to visceral afferents is the most common underlying cause of visceral hypersensitivity that is maintained by either peripheral and/or central nervous system mechanisms
  • Animal models of hypersensitivity have been used to examine the neural mechanisms of hypersensitivity following inflammatory injury, such as alterations in the N-methyl, D-aspartate receptor, dorsal horn neurons or c-Fos
  • Increased intestinal permeability might lead to hypersensitivity and abdominal pain in patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders
  • Functional gastrointestinal disorders are similar to other chronic pain disorders in which persistent nociceptive mechanisms are activated

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