Rome criteria1,2

What are the Rome IV criteria for IBS diagnosis?1,2

Why are these called the Rome criteria?

The Rome Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides support for activities to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders.3 The international working group for IBS originally convened in Rome, Italy, in 1987, generating the Rome I criteria, with subsequent updates referred to as Rome II, Rome III, and most recently Rome IV, which were published in May 20164

IBS subtypes are based on the predominant stool form pattern of abnormal bowel movements1


>25% hard or lumpy
<25% loose or watery


>25% loose or watery
<25% hard or lumpy

(mixed pattern)

>25% hard or lumpy
>25% loose or watery


Meet diagnostic criteria for IBS but bowel habits cannot be accurately categorized into other three groups

The Bristol Stool Form Scale is a validated descriptor of stool form and consistency1,2

If your patient has symptoms of IBS, consider showing them the Bristol Stool Form Scale to aid your diagnosis

Which number best describes your patient's bowel movements?

Modified from original version, © 2006 Rome Foundation. Used with permission.

Download the Bristol Stool Form Scale

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  1. Lacy BE et al. Gastroenterology 2016; 150: 1393-1407.
  2. Ford AC et al. Am J Gastroenterol 2014; 109 Suppl 1: S2-S26.
  3. Rome Foundation. Available at: Accessed March 2016.
  4. Thompson WG. Gastroenterology 2006; 130: 1552-1556.