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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Is SVR12 As Good As SVR24?

In patients with chronic Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, a sustained viral response to treatment regimens 12 weeks after therapy (SVR12) is a good indicator that the response will be maintained until week 24 (SVR 24), based on an analysis of pooled clinical trial data published in the June issue of

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Can We Prevent Portal Vein Thrombosis in Patients With Cirrhosis?

The anti-clotting agent enoxaparin prevents portal vein thrombosis (PVT) in patients with cirrhosis, according to the November issue of Gastroenterology. PVT can lead to portal hypertension and reduce the blood supply to the liver—some patients with acute or extensive PVT develop severe gastrointestinal bleeding, ascites, or intestinal ischemia, which can progress and become

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Could Intestinal Microbes Reduce Insulin Resistance?

The intestinal microbiota can be manipulated to increase insulin sensitivity in people with metabolic syndrome, according to a study published in the October issue of Gastroenterology. The trillions of microorganisms that reside in the human intestine are important regulators of metabolism. Changes in their composition and metabolic function have been

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Treating Rumination and Supragastric Belching

Baclofen is an effective treatment for patients with rumination or supragastric belching/aerophagia, according to the April issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Rumination syndrome is characterized by the effortless, often repetitive regurgitation of recently ingested food into the mouth; it results from contraction of the abdominal muscles and a subsequent

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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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