Volume 2 Issue 9, September 2005



  • Viewpoint |

    Endoscopy in pregnant patients presents unique concerns regarding its safety and benefit to the fetus. This Viewpoint presents an overview of the merits and potential dangers associated with endoscopy in pregnancy and discusses the impact of the latest guidelines for endoscopy in this setting.

    • Mitchell S Cappell
  • Viewpoint |

    Idiopathic abdominal pain and chest pain of presumed digestive tract origin accounts for a considerable number of hospital admissions each year. The underlying causes of this pain remain unknown. In this Viewpoint the authors propose a novel mechanism for this undefined pain suggesting that ischemic events could be responsible.

    • Hans Gregersen
    •  & James Christensen

Research Highlights

Practice Points


  • Review Article |

    Several liver support systems have been described for use as a bridge to orthotopic liver transplantation in patients with fulminant hepatic failure, but no system has gained FDA approval or widespread clinical acceptance. The authors of this Review present an overview of published experience with liver support systems since the 1960s.

    • J Michael Millis
    •  & Julian E Losanoff
  • Review Article |

    In the gastrointestinal tract, defensins—endogenous antibiotics with microbicidal activity—help regulate the composition and number of colonizing microbes, and protect against food-borne and water-borne pathogens. Inspired by recent studies of defensins in human disease and animal models, this Review discusses emerging evidence for the importance of defensins in gastrointestinal infections and inflammatory diseases.

    • Jan Wehkamp
    • , Klaus Fellermann
    • , Klaus R Herrlinger
    • , Charles L Bevins
    •  & Eduard F Stange
  • Review Article |

    This article reviews an area of translational research that is currently receiving a great deal of attention—the role of the intestinal epithelial barrier in the pathogenesis of gastrointestinal disease. In particular, the authors consider the contribution of the intestinal epithelial barrier, with its intercellular tight junctions, to the development of autoimmunity.

    • Alessio Fasano
    •  & Terez Shea-Donohue
  • Review Article |

    This Review provides an update on the molecular pathogenesis of gallbladder stones, one of the most prevalent and expensive gastroenterological diseases. The authors discuss evidence supporting the hypothesis that genetic factors are key predisposing elements, and the progress that is being made in human genetic studies of cholesterol gallstones.

    • Frank Lammert
    •  & Tilman Sauerbruch