Journal List > Korean J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr > v.13(1) > 1043476

Korean J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2010 Mar;13(1):36-43. Korean.
Published online March 31, 2010.
Copyright © 2010 The Korean Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Factors Contributing to Treatment Outcome of Functional Constipation in Children
Hyung Seok Kim, M.D., You Rha Hong, M.D.,* Ju Hee We, M.D. and Jae Hong Park, M.D.
Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Pusan National University, Busan, Korea.
*Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Kosin University, Busan, Korea.

Corresponding author (Email: )
Received February 19, 2010; Accepted March 08, 2010.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical features and factors contributing to treatment outcome for chronic functional constipation in children.


We analyzed the medical records of patients with constipation, who visited the inpatient or outpatient clinic of the Department of Pediatrics of Pusan National University Hospital, between January 1998 and December 2007. The clinical features, outcomes, and factors affecting the treatment response according to the main drug (lactulose vs. PEG 4000) were analyzed retrospectively.


Two hundred forty children (142 males and 98 females) were enrolled in this study. The mean age was 51.2±37.9 months. The duration of symptoms was 32.6±33.7 months. The accompanying symptoms were as follows: encopresis, 91 (30.4%); abdominal pain, 76 (31.6%); and blood-tinged stool, 37 (15.4%). The treatment response was achieved earlier in females (p<0.001), patients with accompanying symptoms (p<0.05), and patients treated with PEG 4000 (p=0.001). The duration of symptoms (p<0.05) and stool frequency before treatment (p<0.05) were related to a delayed treatment response. Relapse occurred in 7 children, all of whom were treated successfully later.


Factors contributing to treatment response are female gender, accompanying symptoms, duration of symptoms, and stool frequency before treatment. PEG 4000 is superior to lactulose in response time and taken into consideration as a primary drug for the treatment of functional constipation of children. Early treatment and sufficient treatment time may also be important factors to achieve an early response and prevent relapse.

Keywords: Constipation; Functional; Children; Treatment


Fig. 1
Age at symptom onset.
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Fig. 2
Duration of symptoms before treatment.
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Fig. 3
Stool frequency before treatment.
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Fig. 4
Time interval between diagnosis and treatment response.
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Fig. 5
Duration of treatment.
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Table 1
Demographic Characteristics of 240 Patients
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Table 2
Accompanying Symptoms
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Table 3
Demographic Characteristics of Lactulose and PEG 4000 group
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Table 4
Study Variables and Treatment Effect
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Table 5
Study Variables and Treatment Effect
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