Does Celiac Disease Increase the Risk of GI Cancer?

People with celiac disease do not have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal (GI) cancers, according to a large population-based study from Peter Elfström et al. in the January issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Celiac disease has been associated with GI cancers in small studies, but there have been

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Can Patients With Crohn’s Disease Ever Stop Taking Infliximab?

Half of patients with Crohn’s disease treated with infliximab experience a relapse within the first year after they stop taking the drug, according to a study published in the January issue of Gastroenterology. Drugs such as infliximab inhibit the inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and are effective in reducing

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Should Colonoscopies Include Anesthesiologists?

Nearly a quarter of screening colonoscopies performed in the Medicare population involve an anesthesiologist—a percentage that has more than doubled in the past 5 years, according to findings reported in the January issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Many patients do not receive screening colonoscopies because they are concerned about

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What Causes Pancreatitis?

Trypsinogen might not be the sole culprit in acute pancreatitis, contradicting a century-old model of this disease; a new model is published in the December issue of Gastroenterology. Trypsinogen is a pancreatic protein that is converted in acinar cells to the enzyme trypsin—a protease that is important for digestion and

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Opioids for Chronic Abdominal Pain?

The number of prescriptions of opioids written for patients with chronic abdominal pain has more than doubled in the past decade, according to a study published in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Chronic abdominal pain is common, yet a challenge to treat, so clinicians have increasingly prescribed

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Can We Treat Chronic HCV Infection Without Interferon?

A potent combination of 2 drugs that directly target the hepatitis C virus (HCV) is effective in patients with chronic infection, and doesn’t require interferon therapy, according to an article in the December issue of Gastroenterology. Patients infected with HCV genotype-1 are usually treated with peginterferon and ribavirin, but approximately

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What Does the Appendix Do, Anyway?

The appendix protects against recurrent infection by Clostridium difficile (C difficile) and possibly other pathogenic bacteria, according to a study published in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Although the human appendix is considered to be expendable, it contains gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT), which processes antigen and regulates

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Could Differences in Gut Bacteria Cause IBS?

The bacteria that reside in the intestines of adults and children with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) differ from those of healthy adults and children, according to 2 studies in the November issue of Gastroenterology. Microorganisms account for 90% of the cells in our body (many cannot even be cultured); only

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High Rate of Complications from Colectomy for Ulcerative Colitis

Twenty-seven percent of patients who are treated for ulcerative colitis by colectomy experience postoperative complications, according to a study in the November issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Most patients with ulcerative colitis are successfully treated with medication, yet some have severe colitis attacks that can be life threatening. Approximately

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New Cell Culture Technology for Colon Cancer and Barrett’s Esophagus

A new method for long-term culture of human primary colonic epithelium provides an important tool for studying colon stem cells, adenocarcinoma, colon cancer, and even Barrett’s esophagus, according to the November issue of Gastroenterology. Self-renewal of the small intestinal and colonic epithelium is mediated by proliferation of stem cells and

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