What Factors Predict Recovery From Chronic HBV Infection?

A low and rapidly decreasing level of Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) is a good sign for patients with chronic HBV infection, according to the March issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Tracking progression of chronic HBV infection can be complicated—patients can have high viral loads with no symptoms, and

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Achalasia, Pneumatic Dilation, Risks, and Repairs

Pneumatic dilation as a treatment for achalasia is more likely to cause esophageal perforations in the elderly, but these tears can be successfully treated medically, rather than surgically, according to the February issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Achalasia is a rare motor disorder of the esophagus, cause by defects

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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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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 Treatment for IBS

LX1031, a drug that inhibits serotonin production, relieves symptoms and increases stool consistency in patients with nonconstipating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to a study by Philip Brown et al. in the August issue of Gastroenterology. Serotonin (also called 5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT) is a neurotransmitter that controls mood and cognition, as

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Why Do Only Some Gastric Tumors Respond to Therapy?

Tumors from patients with gastric cancer can be divided into subgroups, based on their gene expression pattern. This information can be used to select the best treatment, according to Patrick Tan and colleagues in the August issue of Gastroenterology. Gastric tumors have large, inter-individual differences in aggressiveness, histopathology features, and

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Fluid Resuscitation for Acute Pancreatitis—When and With What?

Patients that are given fluid resuscitation within 24 hours of developing acute pancreatitis are less likely to experience systemic inflammatory response (SIR) or organ failure, according to a study by Matthew G. Warndorf et al. in the August issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Acute pancreatitis is an inflammatory process

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Constipation Relief

The drug bisacodyl is effective against chronic constipation and improves patients’ quality of life, according to a large study published by Michael Kamm et al. in the July issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Constipation affects 12% to 19% of Americans; its prevalence increases with age and it affects women

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Does Mucosal Healing Determine Which Patients Will Recover From Ulcerative Colitis?

Lack of mucosal healing, based on endoscopic analysis, identifies patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) who are not likely to respond to corticosteroid therapy, according to Sandro Ardizzone et al. in the June issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. In a prospective study, Ardizzone et al. followed 157 patients with moderate

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