2005 PezzoneBy: Michael A. Pezzone, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, & Nutrition, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA

Dr. Pezzone is the 2005 recipient of the IFFGD Basic Science Research Award to a Junior Investigator. Dr. Pezzone is the principle investigator of a National Institutues of Health (NIH) study that looked at the pathways of neurogenic cross-sensitization of pelvic viscera and its implications for the overlap of irritable bowel syndrome, interstitial cystitis, and other chronic pelvic pain disorders.

Summary

Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) is the key element comprising several CPP disorders that are all characterized by intermittent or continuous pain of at least 6 months duration localized to the pelvic area, the lower part of the abdominal cavity. Bowel, lower urinary tract, sexual, and/or gynecologic function are often affected. In our novel experimental model, we provided compelling evidence of neural cross-talk and bidirectional cross-sensitization in the pelvis.

Cross-sensitization

Because bowel, lower urinary tract, sexual, and gynecologic function are all inter-related, the pelvic organs and structures require an integrated neural control mechanism to permit cross-organ communication or "cross-talk." The pelvic organs and structures communicate through nerve connections or reflexes either directly or via convergent pathways. We propose that through these same pathways, which are important for carrying out normal pelvic physiologic function, "cross-sensitization" can develop. This hypothesis could help explain the common overlap of chronic pelvic pain disorders.

Frequency of Overlap

A significant number of patients diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) also experience bladder symptoms of urinary urgency, while correspondingly, many patients diagnosed with interstitial cystitis also have symptoms of IBS. Furthermore, many patients diagnosed with interstitial cystitis were also found to have concurrent pain of the vulva, or vulvodynia, and many males with chronic prostatitis or male chronic pelvic pain exhibited pain with bladder filling, a classic feature of interstitial cystitis.

Study Findings

In our novel experimental model, we provided compelling evidence of neural cross-talk and bidirectional cross-sensitization in the pelvis.

As we learn more about the origin and development of these disorders, including their overlap and the role of mechanisms involved with disturbances of sensory afferent nerves, we may be able to treat these disorders more holistically and more effectively.

Find out More

View details of the studies described in this summary. Read Report: Chronic Pelvic Pain and the Overlap of Chronic Pelvic Pain Disorders

Research Awards
2013 Award Recipients
Enrico Corazziari, MD
Jan Tack, MD, PhD
Gary Mawe, PhD
Ashley Blackshaw, PhD
Carlo Di Lorenzo, MD
Niranga Manjuri Devanarayana, MD
Report from Lukas Van Oudenhove, PhD: Solving the Biopsychosocial Puzzle in Functional Dyspepsia
Muriel Larauche, PhD
2011 Award Recipients
Report from Ronnie Fass, MD: Sleep and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Million Mulugeta, PhD
Adrian Miranda, MD
Samuel Nurko, MD
Sudarshan Jadcherla, MD
Shaman Rajindrajith, MD
2009 Award Recipients
Satish Rao, MD
Emeran Mayer, MD
Javier Santos, MD
Report from Martin Storr, MD, PhD: Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: New Insights in Enteric Regulation
Report From Miguel Saps, MD: Functional Abdominal Pain in Children and Adolescents
2007 Award Recipients
Report from Bruce D. Naliboff, PhD: Symptom Based Psychology for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
Report from Magnus Simrén, MD, PhD: Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Searching for Underlying Causes
Report from Brennan M. R. Spiegel, MD, MSHS: Diagnostic Testing in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Theory vs. Reality
Report from Sylvie Bradesi, PhD: Role of the Central Immune System in Functional Disorders
Paul E. Hyman, MD
Report from Miranda A. L. van Tilburg, PhD: Home Based Guided Imagery to Treat Pediatric Functional Abdominal Pain
Report from Fernando Azpiroz, MD, PhD: Understanding Intestinal Gas
2005 Award Recipients
Report from Yvette Tache, PhD: Stress and Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Unraveling the Code
Report from Shaheen Hamdy, MRCP, PhD: Adult Neurogenic Dysphagia -- Disorders and Conditions that Disrupt Swallowing
Report from Michael A. Pezzone, MD, PhD: Chronic Pelvic Pain and the Overlap of Pelvic Pain Disorders
Report from Bridget R. Southwell, PhD: Research into Treatment-Resistant Constipation in Children
Report from Rachel Rosen, MD, MPH: Symptoms Arising from Non-Acid Reflux in Children
2003 Award Recipients
Report from William E. Whitehead, PhD: Summary of Clinical Research Activities
Jyoti N. Sengupta, PhD
Report from Caroline Elder Danda, PhD: Biopsychosocial Perspectives on Assessment and Treatment
Report from Terry Buchmiller-Crair, MD: Using the Fetal Gastrointestinal Tract to Overcome Neonatal Disease
Report from Dan L. Dumitrascu, MD, PhD: The Psychosocial Adjustment to Illness in Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Report from Klaus Bielefeldt, MD, PhD: Understanding Pain and Discomfort in Functional GI Disorders
Research Grants
IFFGD Competitive Grants
2014 IFFGD Idiopathic Gastroparesis Research Grants
Leo Cheng, PhD
Braden Kuo, MD, MSc
Richard McCallum, MD
2008 IFFGD Competitive Research Grants
IFFGD Noncompetitive Grants
Other Research Grant Opportunities
Funding Research
Need for Funding Research
How to Make a Difference
The State of Research at NIH & NIDDK
Clinical Trials & Studies
IBS Studies
Guide to Randomized Clinical Trials
Industry Sponsored Clinical Trials and Studies
NIH/Other Sponsored Clinical Trials and Studies

Give Today

give today

Your GIFT can change a life

Your donations help to fund life-changing research and education about chronic digestive conditions and the critical need for improved treatments.

Together, we make a difference.

Donate online