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Authors’ response: impaired duodenal mucosal integrity and low-grade inflammation in functional dyspepsia
  1. Hanne Vanheel,
  2. Tim Vanuytsel,
  3. Ricard Farré,
  4. Jan Tack
  1. Translational Research Center for Gastrointestinal Disorders, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Professor Jan Tack, Herestraat 49, box 701, Leuven 3000, Belgium; jan.tack{at}

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We thank Prof Rodrigo and colleagues for their comments1 on our recent paper on increased permeability and low-grade inflammation in functional dyspepsia (FD).2

However, we disagree that our study is underpowered, which was confirmed by highly significant differences between the groups. As indicated in the manuscript, we calculated the minimum sample size and even included more subjects than statistically required. We also want to point out that our n-values are in the upper range for a study that combines functional and structural measurements of epithelial integrity.

Questions were raised about the absence of Helicobacter pylori (HP) in our participants. Ten years ago, the prevalence of HP in the FD patient population of Belgium was low (17%), and has decreased even further since then.3 All patients were found to be negative for HP using immunohistochemical staining of gastric biopsies and had never received eradication therapy. HP status was not evaluated in the control group, but none of them had gastrointestinal complaints.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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