DOP07 Chronic abdominal pain in IBD patients in remission: Real-world data on contributing factors

Rezazadeh Ardabili, A.(1,2);Janssen, L.M.(1,2);Romberg-Camps, M.J.L.(3);Keszthelyi, D.(1,2);Jonkers, D.M.A.E.(1,2);van Bodegraven, A.A.(3);Pierik, M.J.(1,2);Mujagic, Z.(1,2);

(1)Department of Internal Medicine- Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Maastricht University Medical Center+, Maastricht, The Netherlands;(2)School for Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism NUTRIM, Maastricht University Medical Center+, Maastricht, The Netherlands;(3)Department of Gastroenterology- Geriatrics- Internal and Intensive Care Medicine Co-MIK, Zuyderland Medical Centre, Heerlen-Sittard-Geleen, The Netherlands;


Chronic abdominal pain is highly prevalent in IBD patients in remission. The aetiology is incompletely understood, although persistent histologic inflammation, post-inflammatory visceral hypersensitivity, and altered gut-brain interaction are believed to contribute. Data on the characteristics of IBD patients suffering from chronic abdominal pain are sparse, yet essential for the identification of treatment targets. We investigated clinical, lifestyle and psychosocial factors associated with chronic abdominal pain in a real-world cohort of IBD patients in remission.


A prospective multicentre study was performed enrolling consecutive IBD patients, between Jan 1, 2020 and Jul 1, 2021, using myIBDcoach, an established remote monitoring platform for IBD. Patient reported outcome measures on disease activity, lifestyle and psychosocial factors (i.e. depressive symptoms, anxiety, stress, and life events) were assessed in three-monthly intervals. Chronic abdominal pain in IBD in remission (IBDremissionPain+) was defined as an abdominal pain score ≥3 (1-10 numeric rating scale (NRS)) at ≥1/3 of all assessments combined with faecal calprotectin <150 μg/g in 90 days around periodic assessments. Multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for relevant confounders, was performed to identify risk factors for IBDremissionPain+ compared to patients in remission without chronic abdominal pain (IBDremissionPain-).


In total, 559 patients were followed prospectively, of which 429 (76.7%) were in biochemical remission. Of these, 198 (46.2%) fulfilled the criteria for chronic abdominal pain. IBDremissionPain+ patients were characterized by female sex, higher BMI, and shorter disease duration compared to IBDremissionPain- (Table 1). IBDremissionPain+ patients reported significantly higher levels of stress, fatigue, depressive and anxiety symptoms, and occurrence of life events (Table 2). On multivariable logistic regression, female sex (aOR 2.58), shorter disease duration (<10years, aOR 2.31), higher BMI (aOR 1.06), higher levels of stress (aOR 1.19), fatigue (aOR 4.73), and life events (aOR 1.65) were all significantly associated with chronic abdominal pain (Table 3). The univariable association between pain and anxiety and depressive symptoms was modulated by stress in the multivariable analysis.


In this real-world population of IBD patients in remission, 46.2% experience chronic abdominal pain, characterized by female sex, shorter disease duration, higher BMI, fatigue and psychosocial factors. The gut-brain interaction in this population is represented by higher levels of depressive and anxiety symptoms, but the relation to abdominal pain is potentially modulated through increased levels of perceived stress.