Post-Infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Yeong Yeh Lee, Chandramouli Annamalai, Satish S.C. Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome (PI-IBS) is characterized by persistent abdominal pain and diarrhea, typically following an episode of infectious gastroenteritis. The mechanisms that underlie IBS-D remain elusive, but PI-IBS provides a mechanistic model of this disorder. This review provides an up-to-date appraisal of the pathophysiology, clinical features, and management approaches for PI-IBS. Recent Findings: Disordered immune reactions and release of cytokines with resultant gut inflammation and dysfunction appear to be key features of PI-IBS. Disordered brain-gut-microbiota interactions, type of infecting agent, and host-genetic susceptibility are risk factors but also are reasons for the varying spectrum of clinical severity. Although prognosis is generally good, symptoms and inflammation may persist for a long time. Symptomatic relief with antidiarrheals, antispasmodics, 5HT3 antagonists, mesalamine, probiotics, and low-dose antidepressants remain the primary approaches, but in some difficult cases, a combination of drugs that target the pathophysiology may be helpful. Summary: PI-IBS has many overlapping features with IBS-D and shares similar pathophysiology and management approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number56
JournalCurrent Gastroenterology Reports
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


  • Diarrhea
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Inflammation
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Pathophysiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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