UEG press release

UEG Week: Clinicians welcome new initiatives to help improve outcomes for patients with functional GI disorders

October 18, 2016

UEG Week: Clinicians welcome new initiatives to help improve outcomes for patients with functional GI disorders

(Vienna, October 18, 2016) European clinicians and research scientists attending UEG Week 2016 have welcomed the publication of new criteria for the diagnosis and classification of functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, together with the launch of several major initiatives designed to enhance understanding of these disorders and help clinicians in the care of their patients. Delegates attending UEG Week in Vienna embraced the initiatives, which have been inspired by publication of the new Rome IV criteria for functional GI disorders and were showcased today by Dr Douglas A. Drossman, the current President of the Rome Foundation.  

Speaking at UEG Week, Dr Drossman outlined the need to update the definitions and conceptual understanding of functional GI disorders, leading to the development of the Rome IV classification and the research and educational initiatives that have followed. “The Rome III criteria were published in 2006 and, in the last 10 years, we have seen unprecedented progress in our understanding of functional GI disorders and now have better treatments available for many of them,” he said. “In developing the Rome IV criteria, we wanted to include new diagnoses, emphasize the importance of the gut­–brain interaction in the pathophysiology of these conditions, and improve their diagnosis and treatment using new learning tools.”

We now want to help clinicians in Europe and around the world to understand the new criteria, integrate them into their own diagnostic work-ups and optimize their patient management.

What’s new in Rome IV?

The Rome IV criteria contain a number of major changes, which were based on both new evidence and expert consensus. Major changes in Rome IV include: 

  • The redefinition of functional GI disorders as ‘disorders of the gut–brain interaction’ and the removal of the term, ‘functional’ when not needed.
  • The addition of new diagnoses, including opioid-induced constipation, narcotic bowel syndrome, cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome and reflux hypersensitivity.
  • Threshold changes for diagnostic criteria to improve their clinical meaningfulness.
  • Revision of sphincter of Oddi (SOD) disorder criteria
  • Reconceptualization of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and its sub-types, with removal of the term ‘discomfort’ from its diagnostic criteria. 

“These changes reflect our growing understanding of many different aspects of functional GI disorders and they should help support future research and enhance clinical practice,” said Dr Drossman. “We now want to help clinicians in Europe and around the world to understand the new criteria, integrate them into their own diagnostic work-ups and optimize their patient management.” 

To aid in the communication of the Rome IV concepts to clinicians, the educational materials have been published as the Rome IV 2-volume textbook and also supplementary clinically oriented books. These include diagnostic algorithms, multimodal treatment using the Multi-Dimensional Clinical Profile, as well as paediatric and primary care books. “In this manner, the clinician can find the book that is best targeted to his or specific interests” said Dr Drossman. 

Rome IV Interactive Clinical Decision Toolkit

As a means to further reach the needs of clinicians, the Rome Foundation has been working with new software to develop a powerful on-line, interactive toolkit that presents a combination of Rome IV diagnostic algorithms and Multidimensional Clinical Profile (MDCP) treatment guidelines. The toolkit guides clinicians through the complex challenges of working with patients with functional GI disorders, with users seeing all relevant decision pathways, and, by inputting their patients’ information, activating the pathways that lead to treatment recommendations for optimal outcomes. 

“Both the Rome IV diagnostic criteria and the MDCP guidelines are innovative in their learning approaches and we are pleased to have been able to combine these approaches in this interactive on-line toolkit,” explained Dr Drossman. “We anticipate that clinicians will be able to develop a more comprehensive knowledge and optimize the care of their patients by accessing the most up-to-date information developed by world experts.” 

Access the release in German (PDF)
Access the release in English (PDF)


1.    Drossman DA, Chang L, Chey WD, Kellow J, Tack J, Whitehead WE (eds). Rome IV functional gastrointestinal disorders: disorders of gut–brain interaction. Raleigh, NC: Rome Foundation, 2016.

2.    Drossman DA, Chang L, Chey WD, Kellow J, Tack J, Whitehead WE and the Rome IV Committees (eds). Rome IV Multidimensional Clinical Profile for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (2nd edition). Raleigh, NC: Rome Foundation, 2016. 

Notes to Editors

For further information, or to arrange an interview with Dr Douglas Drossman, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu

About Dr Douglas Drossman

Dr Drossman is the current President of the Rome Foundation and his research relates to the clinical, epidemiological, psychosocial and treatment aspect of functional GI disorders. He has served as the Associated Editor of the journal Gastroenterology and has written over 500 articles and book chapters. 

About Professor Magnus Simren (UEG Spokesperson)

Professor Magnus Simren is the Chair of the UEG Scientific Committee and is a Consultant in the Department of Internal Medicine, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden. Professor Simren also sits on the Rome IV Committee, within the Microbiota Working Team.

About UEG Week

UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress, attracting up to 13,000 participants from 116 countries. UEG Week provides a forum for basic and clinical scientists from across the globe to present their latest research in digestive and liver diseases, and also features a two-day postgraduate course that brings together top lecturers in their fields for a weekend of interactive learning.

About UEG

UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge.

To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including: 

  • UEG Week, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world.
  • UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion
  • Training Support, funding for innovative training and educational programmes, as well as international scientific and professional co-operations
  • UEG Journal, published bi-monthly, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • EU Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe

Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:           

Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu

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