Volume 11 Issue 3, March 2014

Volume 11 Issue 3

Cover image supplied by M. J. Gora, V. J. Madden and G. J. Tearney, Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, USA. A 3D image of the oesophagus created by rendering data obtained from an unsedated human subject using a swallowable tethered capsule endomicroscopy device. The capsule employs optical coherence tomography: optics within the capsule spin a focused beam around its circumference, acquiring cross-sectional images as it traverses the organ via peristalsis. A flexible tether containing an optical fibre is attached to the capsule and can be used to control its position and to remove it from the mouth so that it can be disinfected and reused.

Research Highlights

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    Cannabis (or marijuana) has been used in traditional medicine to treat intestinal inflammation. A survey by Ravikoff Allegretti et al. at a specialized IBD clinic shows that, in the USA, marijuana is used by a substantial number of patients with IBD to alleviate their symptoms.

    • Rudolf Schicho
    •  & Martin Storr
  • News & Views |

    Traditional surgical therapy for chronic pancreatitis includes drainage of the dilated pancreatic duct or segmental resection of affected pancreas. Another option gaining increasing favour is that of total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation (TPIAT). A consensus conference, with proceedings published in 2013, discusses the current state-of-the-art information surrounding this procedure, and outstanding questions.

    • Greg Beilman
  • News & Views |

    With the increased emphasis on quality and standardization in gastrointestinal endoscopy, a need exists for minimum standardized information to be provided in endoscopy reports. A group of international colleagues provide a consensus document of standardized endoscopy reporting, including nomenclature and imaging, which is an important framework for all endoscopists, especially trainees.

    • Todd H. Baron


  • Review Article |

    Paediatric GERD is difficult to manage. Here, Yvan Vandenplas discusses the issues surrounding accurate diagnosis of gastro-oesophageal reflux and GERD. He also presents current therapeutic options for these conditions, including nonpharmacological, pharmacological and surgical approaches.

    • Yvan Vandenplas
  • Review Article |

    Minimal access surgery (MAS) is widely used for colon cancer, but its use for rectal cancer remains limited owing to issues with technical feasibility and oncologic outcomes. In this Review, the current evidence in support of laparoscopic and robotic total mesorectal excision for rectal cancer resection is presented. Other MAS approaches, including transanal endoscopic microsurgery and natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery, are also discussed.

    • Vanessa W. Hui
    •  & José G. Guillem
  • Review Article |

    This Review describes advances in artificial and bioartificial liver support systems and current developments. The evolving field of hepatocyte transplantation as a less invasive alternative to whole-organ transplantation is also reviewed, and a detailed overview of cutting-edge hepatic tissue engineering is included. Challenges and opportunities of the different approaches are analysed with respect to clinical relevance, as well as basic science concerns.

    • Benjamin Struecker
    • , Nathanael Raschzok
    •  & Igor M. Sauer
  • Review Article |

    Cardiac dysfunction has been reported in patients with cirrhosis—nearly half of whom have been shown to have abnormalities in cardiac function—and improved understanding of these changes has led to the definition of so-called cirrhotic cardiomyopathy. Here, the authors describe the underlying pathophysiology, clinical features, diagnosis and treatment of cirrhotic cardiomyopathy.

    • Signe Wiese
    • , Jens D. Hove
    • , Flemming Bendtsen
    •  & Søren Møller