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April 2006 Briefing - Gastrotenterology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Gastroenterology for April 2006. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Goiter Patients with Gastritis May Require More Thyroxine

WEDNESDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with euthyroid multinodular goiter and H. pylori-related gastritis or atrophic gastritis may require increased doses of thyroxine, according to a study published in the April 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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FDA Warns of Danger of Oxygen Regulator Fires

WEDNESDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received 12 reports of incidents in which oxygen regulators used with oxygen cylinders have exploded or burned, in some cases causing injury. The accidents appear to be caused by re-use of plastic crush gaskets designed for single use, resulting in an improper seal and oxygen leakage, according to the FDA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

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Probiotics May Ease Stress-Related Gut Problems

TUESDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Probiotic powder containing live Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus helveticus can help prevent intestinal pathophysiology in rats subjected to chronic stress, according to a study published online April 25 in Gut.

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Low Plasma Folate Linked to Lower Colorectal Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with either low or high plasma folate concentrations may have a lower risk of colorectal cancer than those with intermediate levels, according to a study published online April 25 in the journal Gut. The study is one of the few to examine the effect of circulating folate levels, rather than dietary intake of folate, on colorectal cancer risk.

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AtrialEsophageal Fistula Rare Complication After Ablation

MONDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians should be alert for atrial-esophageal fistulas, a rare but potentially fatal complication that can develop in patients who have undergone catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation, according to a study published in the April 18 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Mortality Risk Higher in Diabetics with Peptic Ulcer

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with diabetes are at higher risk of short-term mortality from peptic ulcer bleeding and perforation, according to a study published in the April issue of Diabetes Care.

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Hypnotherapy Can Reduce Non-Cardiac Chest Pain

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Hypnotherapy can reduce the intensity of non-cardiac chest pain, although it doesn't seem to reduce the frequency of painful episodes in patients with angina-like pain that is not due to gastroesophageal reflux or cardiac conditions, according to a study published online April 20 in Gut.

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Benign Lesions Linked to Higher Risk of Anal Cancer

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- There is a significant link between benign inflammatory anal lesions and long-term risk of anal cancer, although hemorrhoids don't appear to be a risk factor, according to a study in the May issue of Gut.

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Genes Play a Role in Susceptibility to Hepatitis C

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- The presence of certain APOE gene polymorphisms may determine susceptibility to hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, according to a study in the May issue of Gut.

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Self-Help Measures for IBS Can Cut Primary Care Costs

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- When patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are given a self-help guidebook as part of the treatment for their condition, they visit primary care settings less frequently and report a perceived improvement in their condition, according to a study in the May issue of Gut.

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Ondansetron Curbs Vomiting in Pediatric Gastroenteritis

WEDNESDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- A single dose of oral ondansetron reduces vomiting and increases oral rehydration in children with gastroenteritis and dehydration, according to a study published April 20 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Some U.S. Foodborne Infections Drop 30-50 Percent

WEDNESDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of many foodborne infections in the United States dropped 30 to 50 percent between the mid-1990s and 2005, but stepped-up efforts are needed to fight Salmonella and other pathogens, according to data reported online April 14 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Food Handler's Early Return to Work Linked to Outbreak

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- A Michigan food handler infected with norovirus who returned to work hours after vomiting may have spread the infection to 100 other people during a 2005 outbreak, according to a report published online April 14 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Probiotics Can Prevent Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea

FRIDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- The use of probiotics can reduce the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and Clostridium difficile disease, according to a meta-analysis published in the April issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Bile Acid is a Key Stimulus of Liver Regeneration

FRIDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Liver regeneration is triggered by a "homeotrophic" response where hepatocytes sense higher levels of bile acids and increase bile acid signaling through the nuclear hormone receptor FXR, according to a report in the April 14 issue of Science.

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Gastric Electrical Stimulation May Help Treat Obesity

THURSDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Gastric electrical stimulation (GES), in which mucosal electrodes are endoscopically placed in the fundus, may be a potential treatment for obesity, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Expectant Management An Option For Bile Stones

THURSDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Expectant management after endoscopic retrograde cholangiography with sphincterotomy (ERC-S) for common bile duct stones may be a reasonable strategy in elderly patients, but it depends on the probability of recurrent symptoms, according to a study in the April issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Stress Not Associated with Inflammatory Bowel Relapse

WEDNESDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- Stressful life events do not seem to trigger symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in patients whose symptoms have been inactive prior to the event, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Survival Lower in Hispanic Colorectal Cancer Patients

WEDNESDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- Hispanic patients in the United States tend to present with colorectal cancer at a younger age and more advanced disease and have significantly worse survival than non-Hispanic whites, according to a study in the April issue of the American Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Mouse Study Shows Serotonin Key in Liver Regeneration

FRIDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Platelet-derived serotonin may be involved in the initiation of liver regeneration, according to the results of an animal study published in the April 7 issue of Science. The finding suggests that serotonin agonists may benefit liver transplant patients, who often have a platelet deficiency.

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Longer Waiting Times for Pediatric Liver Transplants

FRIDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Wait-list times have increased for pediatric liver transplants since the early 1990s, with wait-list mortality highest for infants and toddlers, according to a study published in the April issue of Liver Transplantation.

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Low Vitamin D Linked to Cancer Risk in Men

THURSDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Men with lower levels of vitamin D may be at higher risk than other men of developing cancer, particularly of the digestive system, according to a study in the April 5 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Morbidity High in Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy

THURSDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Women with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy have increased gastrointestinal permeability and are at higher risk of developing liver and biliary diseases, according to two studies published in the April issue of Hepatology.

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Mortality Rates Differ Between Types of Cirrhosis

THURSDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with cirrhosis due to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) have fewer complications and a lower risk of death compared with patients with cirrhosis due to hepatitis C virus (HCV), although cardiovascular mortality is higher in NASH cirrhosis patients, according to a study in the April issue of Hepatology.

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