Prevalence and Predictors of Gastrointestinal Dysmotility in Patients with Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome: A Tertiary Care Center Experience

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Introduction Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), specifically the hypermobility type (hEDS), is associated with a variety of gastrointestinal (GI) conditions. This study aims to evaluate the prevalence of and factors associated with gut dysmotility in patients with hEDS. Methods This is a retrospective study of hEDS patients conducted at the Cleveland Clinic's Center for Personalized Genetic Healthcare between January 2007 and December 2017. Demographics, GI motility testing, endoscopic, and imaging data were extracted from the patients' charts. Results A total of 218 patients with hEDS were identified. Among them, 136 (62.3%) patients had at least one GI symptom at the time of EDS diagnosis. Motility testing was performed and reported in 42 (19.2%) patients. Out of them, five (11.9%) had esophageal dysmotility, 18 (42.8%) had gastroparesis, five (11.9%) had small bowel/colon altered transit time, and four (9.5%) had global dysmotility. In univariable analysis, patients with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) [odds ratio (OR): 8.88, 95% CI: 3.69-24.9, p<0.0001], fibromyalgia (OR: 4.43, 95% CI: 2.04-10.1, p=0.0002), history of irritable bowel syndrome (OR: 5.01, 95% CI: 2.31-11.2, p<0.0001), and gastroesophageal reflux disease (OR: 3.33, 95% CI: 1.55-7.44, p=0.002) were more likely to be diagnosed with GI dysmotility. On multivariable analysis, only POTS (OR: 5.74, 95% CI: 2.25-16.7, p=0.0005) was significantly associated with an increased likelihood of GI dysmotility. Conclusions This study suggests that GI symptoms are relatively common among patients with hEDS. Of the patients tested for dysmotility, 76.2% were found to have some form of dysmotility. POTS was found to be an independent predictive factor for GI dysmotility.