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Review: clinical findings had moderate sensitivity and specificity for diagnosing irritable bowel syndrome

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QUESTION

What is the accuracy of individual symptoms and combinations of clinical findings for diagnosing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

REVIEW SCOPE

Included studies compared individual symptoms or combinations of clinical findings with investigational tests (colonoscopy, barium enema, or computed tomographic colography) for diagnosing IBS in unselected patients >16 years of age who had lower gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. IBS was defined as a functional disorder that was ruled out by the presence of organic lower GI disease. Lower GI symptoms had to be recorded before investigational tests were done. Outcomes were sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative likelihood ratios (LRs).

REVIEW METHODS

Medline (1950 to Jun 2008), EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (1980 to Jun 2008), and reference lists were searched for prospective, cross-sectional studies …

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