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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  • Is Gluten the Culprit in Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity?

Is Gluten the Culprit in Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity?

Rapidly fermented poorly absorbed short-chain carbohydrates, rather than gluten or other wheat proteins, might cause gastrointestinal symptoms in people who do not have celiac disease but feel better on gluten-free diets, according to the August issue of Gastroenterology. Individuals with non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), do not have celiac disease (based on

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Are Patients Receiving the Latest Anti-HCV Drugs?

Less than 20% of patients infected with the most common Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype receive the latest drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to the August issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. This low percentage could result from concerns of side effects or patient

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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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How Often Do Medications Cause Liver Injury?

Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) could be more common than previously believed, according to a population-based study published in the June issue of Gastroenterology. Amoxicillin-clavulanate seems to be the most common cause, and azathioprine appears to be the most hepatotoxic. Many medications, such chlorpromazine, azathioprine, and sulfasalazine, can cause liver injury,

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Can Proton Pump Inhibitors Prevent Esophageal Cancer?

Proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy reduces risk of esophageal cancer in patients with Barrett’s esophagus (BE), according to the April issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. In BE, the squamous epithelium of the distal esophagus is replaced by metaplastic columnar epithelium, as a result of chronic exposure to stomach acid. Patients

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What are the Effects of Albumin in Patients With SBP?

Albumin infusion prevents renal impairment and reduces mortality among patients with spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP), according to a meta-analysis published in the February issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. SBP is a common bacterial infection among cirrhotic patients and a dangerous complication of ascites. Mortality can reach 30% despite antibiotic

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Can We Increase the Sensitivity of Pancreatic Cancer Cells to Chemotherapeutics?

Researchers have identified small molecules that increase the ability of chemotherapeutic agents to kill pancreatic cancer cells and slow tumor growth in mice, according to the February issue of Gastroenterology. One way that chemotherapeutics such gemcitabine, 5-fluorouracil, and platinum-based compounds kill cancer cells is by causing tumor suppressor proteins to

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Stomach Botox for Weight Loss?

Gastric injections of botulinum toxin A (BTA) can delay gastric emptying but do not make obese individuals feel more full, alter their eating behaviors, or cause them to lose weight, according to the February issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. In attempts to help people lose weight, researchers have tested

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Does a Response to Proton Pump Inhibitor Therapy Indicate GERD?

Just because a patient’s upper gastrointestinal symptoms are alleviated by proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) doesn’t necessarily mean that they have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), according to the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. The efficacy of PPI therapy often is tested to determine whether patients’ symptoms are acid-related and

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