Volume 6 Issue 8, August 2009

Volume 6 Issue 8

Image supplied by Robert M. Genta, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, TX, USA. A biopsy specimen showing the gastric mucosa. Cover art by Nicola Hawes


Research Highlights

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    Detection of polyps by colonoscopy is commonly performed during slow withdrawal of the colonoscope, after its rapid insertion. The authors of a new study found that considerably more polyps were identified during endoscope insertion, rather than withdrawal, and suggest that further investigation of polyp inspection during the insertion phase is warranted.

    • Douglas K. Rex
  • News & Views |

    Severe infections are an established risk of immunosuppressive therapy; however, the risk of opportunistic infections in patients with IBD who receive immunosuppressive therapy has so far only been studied retrospectively. The increased incidence of herpes flares and development or worsening of viral warts in patients with IBD who receive azathioprine has now been demonstrated for the first time in a prospective study.

    • Mario Cottone
    •  & Sara Renna
  • News & Views |

    Two very different studies have recently been published, which indicate that use of intravenous PPIs as an adjunct to endoscopic hemostasis might effectively prevent recurrent ulcer bleeding. What do these studies add to our current knowledge, and what are their practical implications for gastroenterologists?

    • Andreas Leodolter
    •  & Joachim Labenz
  • News & Views |

    Diagnosis of celiac disease in children under 2 years of age at first biopsy currently requires a small-bowel biopsy to be taken after a gluten challenge. The authors of a new study question these recommendations, and suggest that gluten challenge and biopsy are not required in this group of patients.

    • Lotta Högberg
    •  & Lars Stenhammar
  • News & Views |

    Two multicenter trials have evaluated the potential of capsule endoscopy as a diagnostic tool for screening and surveillance of esophageal varices in cirrhotic patients. Their results are similar and show that capsule endoscopy has good performance characteristics, although it is somewhat inferior to esophagogastroduodenoscopy.

    • Roberto de Franchis
  • News & Views |

    Findings from a new, multinational, randomized, controlled trial suggest that histamine receptor 2 antagonists and PPIs are equal in their ability to control peptic ulcer rebleeding. However, several methodological issues of this study limit the conclusions that can be drawn from it.

    • Yao-Chun Hsu
    •  & Hwai-Jeng Lin


  • Review Article |

    Replication of HBV occurs through reverse transcription, but inherent lack of proofreading causes a high rate of mutations. The most common naturally occurring HBV mutations are those in the precore and core promoter regions that abolish or decrease the production of hepatitis B e antigen. In this Review article, Chotiyaputta and Lok discuss these mutations and those that confer resistance to antiviral agents and/or facilitate escape from host immunity.

    • Watcharasak Chotiyaputta
    •  & Anna S. F. Lok
  • Review Article |

    The optimal timing of endoscopy after presentation with upper gastrointestinal bleeding is a matter for debate. Tsoi and colleagues examine the findings of randomized clinical trials and retrospective cohort studies, and conclude that endoscopy within 24 h of admission to hospital aids risk stratification of patients and reduces the need for hospitalization. However, very early endoscopy shows no evidence of benefit in terms of the risk of rebleeding or improved survival.

    • Kelvin K. F. Tsoi
    • , Terry K. W. Ma
    •  & Joseph J. Y. Sung
  • Review Article |

    The late consequences of acute pancreatitis refer to the complications that can arise after the convalescence period of acute pancreatitis, that is, 3–6 months after the initial pancreatitis episode. The development of late complications correlates with disease recurrence. This Review discusses risk factors for the recurrence of acute pancreatitis and the late consequences associated with this disease.

    • Juhani Sand
    •  & Isto Nordback
  • Review Article |

    Barrett esophagus involves the replacement of normal esophageal squamous epithelium with metaplastic columnar epithelium and is a major precursor to adenocarcinoma of the esophagus. Histological evaluation of biopsy samples from the esophagus and gastroesophageal junction for the presence of goblet cells and extent of dysplasia is the mainstay of surveillance for Barrett esophagus. This Review discusses the histological features of Barrett esophagus and its neoplastic complications.

    • Robert D. Odze

Case Study

  • Case Study |

    Clostridium difficile infection is increasingly recognized in patients who have undergone restorative proctocolectomy with ileal-pouch–anal anastomosis. The effect of this infection on patient outcomes is not clear. In this Case Study, Shen and colleagues describe a case of fulminant C. difficile-associated pouchitis with a fatal outcome that occurred after ileostomy closure.

    • Bo Shen
    • , Feza H. Remzi
    •  & Victor W. Fazio