Functional GI Disorders

Advances and controversies in the management of the pediatric functional gastrointestinal disorders

Chair: Prof. Claudio Romano, Messina, Italy

General Information

General Information

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, this school has been postponed to December 2021. 

Functional gastrointestinal disorders continue to be a prevalent set of conditions faced by the healthcare team and have a significant medical, emotional and economic impact. The Rome Pediatric Working Group on Functional GI Disorders, since 2006, has tried to make the criteria more useful for both clinician and researcher, facilitating efforts to make an accurate and definitive diagnosis.


This course is aimed at a audience of medical professionals who either wish to develop expertise, or have a current interest, in the management of functional gastrointestinal disorders in children. It will provide an update on epidemiology, pathogenesis, service development issues, and current and future therapies of these disorders. The meeting will combine keynote talks from international experts, clinical cases presentations and works in small groups to achieve maximum interaction.



COVID-19 has proven challenging in the organisation of onsite courses in the past year. ESPGHAN remains dedicated to the realisation of our educational programme without compromising the health of our delegates.
We are carefully monitoring the developments and follow the recommendations and information provided by the national Health Authorities, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Preparations for an onsite course are proceeding as planned at this point. Applicants will be updated on any potential changes to the format of the school. 

If the situation does not allow for the responsible realisation of onsite participation, your application will be valid for virtual participation and registration fees will be reimbursed or adapted accordingly. 

In accordance with ESPGHAN Rules and Regulations non-members can only attend 1 educational event. Due to the Covid19 pandemic this rule is suspended until further notice.

For more information please contact the ESPGHAN Office.



Preliminary Programme

Day 01 - Thursday 9 December

14.15-14.30 Opening – Welcome : Sanja Kolacek, (Croatia, Zagreb) , Annamaria Staiano (Italy, Napoli) , Claudio Romano (Italy, Messina) and Paolo Lionetti  (Italy, Florence)

Session 1. Epidemiology and clinical patterns of FGIDs
Moderators: Sanja Kolacek, (Croatia, Zagreb) and Annamaria Staiano (Italy, Napoli) 

14.30-14.50 What is a case of FGID? (Silvia Salvatore, Italy, Varese)
14.50-15.10 Comparability of prevalence and incidence rates (Sanja Kolacek, Croatia, Zagreb)
15.10-15.30 Feeding and eating problems (Claudio Romano, Italy, Messina)
15.30-16.00 Coffee Break
16.00-17.00 Abstracts/interactive cases (4 presentations)
17.00-17.20 Infant Rumination Syndrome (Erasmo Miele, Italy, Napoli) 
17.20-17.40 Colic and defecation problems in infants (Caterina Strisciuglio, Italy, Napoli) 
17.40-18.10 Abstracts/interactive cases (2 presentations)

Day 02 - Friday 10 December

Session 2. New Insights into pathogenesis of FGIDs 
Moderators:  Yvan Vandenplas (Belgium, Bruxelles) and Paolo Lionetti (Italy, Firenze)

09.00-09.20 The microbiota-gut-brain axis (Michiel van Wijk, The Netherlands, Amsterdam)
09.20-09.40 Autonomic nervous system involvement in pediatric IBS (Iva Hojsak, Croatia, Zagreb)
09.40-10.00 Neuroimmune factors (Edoardo Savarino, Italy, Padova)
10.00-10.30 Coffee Break
10.30-11.30 Abstracts/interactive cases ( 4 presentations)
11.30-11.40 Somatic and neuropsychiatric comorbidities (Iva Hojsak, Croatia, Zagreb)
11.40-12.10 Abstracts/interactive cases (2 presentations)
12.15-13.30 Lunch

Session 3. Dietary and pharmacological treatment of abdominal pain in IBS
Moderators: Sanja Kolacek (Croatia, Zagreb) and Osvaldo Borrelli (Italy, London) 

13.30-13.50 Dietary and lifestyle modifications (Annamaria Staiano, Italy, Napoli)
13.50-14.10 Prebiotics/probiotics/synbiotics (Yvan Vandenplas, Belgium, Bruxelles)  
14.10-14.30 The Gluten-Free Diet: Use in FGIDs management (Riccardo Troncone, Italy, Napoli)
14:30-15:30 Abstracts/interactive cases ( 4 presentations )
15.30-16.00 Coffee Break
16.00-16.20 Multi-dimensional Clinical Profile (MDCP) (Michiel van Wijk, The Netherlands, Amsterdam)
16.20-16.40 Lessons learned from adults (Edoardo Savarino, Italy, Padova)
16.40-17.20 Functional Aerophagia: an atypical disorder (Claudio Romano, Italy, Messina)


Day 03 - Saturday 11 December

Session 4. Functional defecation disorders
Moderators:  Silvia Salvatore (Italy, Varese) and Erasmo Miele (Italy, Napoli) 

09.00 – 09.20 Colonic and anorectal factors (Osvaldo Borrelli, UK, London)
09.20 – 10.20 Abstracts/interactive cases (4 presentations)
10.20 – 10.40 Additional Diagnostic Testing (Licia Pensabene, Italy, Catanzaro) 
10.40 – 11.10 Coffee Break
11.10 – 11.30 Functional non-retentive fecal incontinence: frequently underdiagnosed? (Marc Benninga, The Netherlands, Amsterdam)
11:30 –11:50 New treatments for functional constipation (Marc Benninga, The Netherlands, Amsterdam)
12:00 –12:15 Summary and closing remarks



Applications are closed

Applications Deadline: extended to 17/10/2021 23:30 CEST
Registration fee: EUR 200.00 (Whole course - onsite attendance)

Application process: Applications will be submitted for review to the course organizers. A maximum of 50 delegates is expected for this course. Applications will include: 

  • the complete online application form
  • a CV
  • an abstract/clinical case for presentation and discussion during the course, following the below requirement:

                 Topic: " functional gastrointestinal disease, clinical and therapeutic topics "  
                 Word counts: 200 words, 
                 Structure: Background, Clinical Case, Conclusions 

Kindly use the online application form on this page. Applications submitted by email cannot be accepted. If you experience any issues with the tool, please contact us at office@espghan. 

Please do not make travel arrangements before receipt of a formal confirmation of acceptance from the ESPGHAN Office. The number of participants is limited and a selection will be made by the school organisers after the deadline. Priority will be given to ESPGHAN Members.



Course director: Claudio Romano (Italy, Messina)

Invited faculty:

Annamaria Staiano (Italy, Napoli)
Caterina Strisciulglio (Italy, Napoli)
Claudio Romano, (Italy, Messina)
Edoardo Savarino (Italy, Padova)
Erasmo Miele (Italy, Napoli)
Iva Hojsak (Croatia, Zagreb)
Licia Pensabene (Italy, Catanzaro)
Marc Benninga (The Netherlands, Amsterdam)
Michiel van Wijk (The Netherlands, Amsterdam)
Osvaldo Borrelli (UK, London)
Paolo Lionetti (Italy, Firenze)
Riccardo Troncone (Italy, Napoli)
Sanja Kolacek (Croatia, Zagreb)
Silvia Salvatore (Italy, Varese)
Yvan Vandenplas (Belgium, Bruxelles)

Cost Coverage

ESPGHAN will arrange and cover the following for registered delegates: 

  • Accommodation up to 2 nights (organised by ESPGHAN)
  • Pre-arranged dinners and social programme  
  • Catering throughout the course   
  • Course Material 



ESPGHAN would like to thank our EPP partners for their support.

The EPP partners for 2021 can be found here


If you have any questions, please contact the ESPGHAN Office for details.
Phone: +41 (0)22 9000 401