• Is Fecal Calprotectin a Good Marker of Crohn’s Disease Recurrence?

Is Fecal Calprotectin a Good Marker of Crohn’s Disease Recurrence?

The fecal concentration of calprotectin can be used to monitor for recurrence of Crohn’s disease, with a high enough negative predictive value that physicians can be confident they won’t miss patients with recurrent disease, researchers report in the May issue of Gastroenterology. Approximately 80% of patients with Crohn’s disease require surgery

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  • Video: Efficacy of Obeticholic Acid in Patients With Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

Video: Efficacy of Obeticholic Acid in Patients With Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

Obeticholic acid significantly reduces biochemical features of primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) in patients with an inadequate response to ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) therapy, Gideon M. Hirschfield et al report in the April issue of Gastroenterology. Hirschfield discusses the details of the study and its findings in a video abstract: PBC is a progressive, autoimmune

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  • An Effective and Long-lasting Hepatitis E Vaccine

An Effective and Long-lasting Hepatitis E Vaccine

A long-term study of a hepatitis E virus (HEV) vaccine showed that it is 86.8% effective and that immunity can last for up to 4.5 years. In a blinded, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial, Jun Zhang et al randomly assigned 112,604 healthy adults in Dongtai (in the Jiangsu province of China)

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New Programs Track Off-Label Use of Targeted Cancer Drugs

Two programs are underway to track off-label use of targeted cancer drugs and patient outcomes, as well as facilitate patient access to these agents. According to Nature News, more than 60% of US prescriptions for cancer drugs are for off-label use—often because patients have a tumor with a feature or

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  • Can Mesalamine Prevent Diverticulitis Recurrence?

Can Mesalamine Prevent Diverticulitis Recurrence?

Mesalamine is no better than placebo in preventing recurrent diverticulitis, and is not recommended for its treatment, researchers conclude from 2 international phase 3 studies. The findings are published in the October issue of Gastroenterology. Diverticular disease is characterized by formation of small pouches (diverticula) that push outward through weak spots in the colon wall.  Diverticulitis

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FDA Approves New Obesity Drug

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the third new prescription drug for obesity since 2012. The drug, Contrave, to be used along with a low-calorie diet and exercise regimen, was approved for treatment of obese adults (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or greater) or overweight adults (BMI

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  • Can we Increase Detection of Duct Abnormalities by MRCP?

Can we Increase Detection of Duct Abnormalities by MRCP?

Administration of secretin improves noninvasive imaging of pancreatic duct abnormalities with higher levels of sensitivity than magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP), researchers report in the September issue of Gastroenterology. Pancreatic imaging is an essential element in evaluation of patients with abdominal pain or suspected pancreatitis. MRCP allows physicians to visualize fluid

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A New Drug for Diabetes and Fatty Liver Disease?

Obeticholic acid (OCA)—an agonist of the farnesoid X receptor (FXR)— increases insulin sensitivity and reduces markers of liver inflammation and fibrosis in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), according to a study published in the September issue of Gastroenterology. Type 2 diabetes mellitus and

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A More Effective Treatment for Achalasia

A specialized endoscopic procedure called peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) is a safe and effective treatment for esophageal achalasia, according to the August issue of Gastroenterology. Achalasia is an esophageal motility disorder characterized by incomplete relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter, increased sphincter tone, and disrupted peristalsis. It causes dysphagia, regurgitation,

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Long-Term Effects of Teduglutide for Short-Bowel Syndrome

The glucagon-like peptide (GLP) teduglutide is effective for long-term treatment of patients with short-bowel syndrome intestinal failure, according to the July issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Short-bowel syndrome is a relatively rare condition that results from massive small bowel resection or bypass. Patients used to die from nutrient malabsorption

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