Fibrosis in Patients with HIV and Hepatitis C

HIV infection does not speed the progression of fibrosis in patients with Hepatitis C, according to findings from Richard Sterling et al. in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Sterling et al. compared liver biopsies taken from more than 300 patients with HIV/HCV co-infection and more than 200

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Relief from Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) had significant improvements in bowel habits and reductions in abdominal pain after taking a new drug called linaclotide, reports a study published in the December issue of Gastroenterology. Jeffrey M. Johnston et al. performed a placebo-controlled phase 2 trial of 4 different doses of

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Skin Problems from IBD Therapy?

Recurring and intense skin lesions cause one-third of patients that take anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapy for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to discontinue treatment, reports Jean–François Rahier et al. in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Anti-TNF agents are used to treat patients with a variety of immune

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Eating Away at Crohn’s Disease

Genetic features of many patients with Crohn’s disease affect the ability of their intestinal cells to undergo autophagy—a form of self-digestion that allows them to fight pathogenic bacteria, according to a study by Craig Homer et al. in the November issue of Gastroenterology. Crohn’s disease is believed to be caused

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You Swallowed What?

Hospitals can spend millions of dollars removing foreign objects—pens, batteries, and even razor blades—intentionally swallowed by patients, according to the November issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. These cases are unusual but costly for the hospitals that deal with them. Brian Huang et al. found that at Rhode Island Hospital,

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Coffee, Beyond Caffeine

Coffee—caffeinated or decaffeinated—protects liver and gastrointestinal cells from toxic compounds, according to Sandra Kalthoff et al. in the November issue of Gastroenterology. In many epidemiology studies, coffee consumption reduced the risk of inflammation, chronic liver diseases, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and other GI disorders. Its mechanisms are unclear, however, because coffee

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Relief from Gastroparesis?

Gastric electrical stimulation (GES) reduces nausea and vomiting and improves quality of life in diabetic patients with gastroparesis, according to Richard W. McCallum et al. in the November issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. McCallum et al. studied 55 diabetic patients with gastroparesis (delayed gastric emptying, which leads to vomiting,

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Are Biopsies Safe for Patients with Advanced Liver Disease?

Liver biopsies are relatively safe and well tolerated among patients with advanced chronic hepatitis C, based on data from the HALT-C trial.  Liver biopsy analysis provides information for diagnosis and planning of treatment strategies for patients with acute and chronic liver diseases, such as chronic hepatitis C infection. However, biopsies

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In CRC Screening, Location Matters

Colonoscopy screening reduces mortality from cancers of the distal, but not proximal, colon, according to a study published in the October issue of Gastroenterology. Harminder Singh et al. studied mortality from CRC among more than 55,000 people that had received screening colonoscopies, compared with the general population. They found that

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Who Has the Greatest Risk for Colorectal Cancer?

Men and smokers have the greatest risk for developing colorectal neoplasms—even more than people with a family history of this cancer—according to Michael Hoffmeister et al. in the October issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Current guidelines recommend that individuals with a family history of colorectal cancer (CRC), inflammatory bowel

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How Prevalent are Pancreatic Cysts?

As more patients have undergone imaging examinations for various disorders, physicians have detected pancreatic cysts with increasing frequency. Some cysts become malignant yet many remain asymptomatic. However, the prevalence of pancreatic cysts among healthy individuals has not been established—it is important to determine how common these are, to devise strategies

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IBD Risk Beyond the Bowel

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a recurring problem for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according to a clinical study by Gottfried Novacek et al. in this month’s issue of Gastroenterology. People with IBD have a high risk for developing blood clots, but it is not clear if they should receive

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Reflux and Laryngitis—a Complicated Relationship

Results from a large clinical trial show that proton pump inhibitors relieve some, but not all the symptoms of chronic laryngitis. One type of laryngitis, laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), is characterized by hoarseness, chronic cough, frequent throat clearing, and the feeling of something in the throat. Because it is believed to

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Cadaveric Liver Cells for Transplantation?

The only effective treatment for liver failure is transplantation, which is limited by the short supply of organ donors. A study by Laura Erker et al. in the September issue of Gastroenterology reports that liver cells from human cadavers might someday be used for transplantation. Erker et al. showed that

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