Gut 54:893-895 doi:10.1136/gut.2004.048868
  • Leading article

Intestinal gas dynamics: mechanisms and clinical relevance

  1. F Azpiroz
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr F Azpiroz
    Digestive System Research Unit, Hospital General Vall d’Hebron, 08035-Barcelona, Spain;
  • Accepted 25 January 2005
  • Revised 24 January 2005


Patients with functional gut disorders, irritable bowel disease, and related syndromes frequently attribute their symptoms to intestinal gas. While patients are usually convinced of their interpretation, the doctor has few arguments to confirm or refute it, and in this context intestinal gas has become a myth. Studies of intestinal gas dynamics have demonstrated subtle dysfunctions in intestinal motility. Hopefully, extension of these studies may help both in the classification of patients complaining of gas symptoms based on pathophysiological mechanisms, and in identification of objective markers to test mechanistically oriented treatment options.


  • Conflict of interest: None declared.