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December 2007 Briefing - Gastroenterology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Gastroenterology for December 2007. 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.

Fabry Disease Patients Have Gastrointestinal Symptoms

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- About half of patients with the genetic disorder Fabry disease have gastrointestinal symptoms similar to diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome, which are somewhat resolved after enzyme replacement therapy, according to a report in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Liver Dysfunction in Sickle Cell Disease Takes Many Forms

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The patterns of liver disease encountered in patients with sickle cell disease are diverse but with considerable overlap, defying broad characterization, reports an article published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology in December.

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Gene Variants Linked to Refractory Celiac Disease

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The presence of a MYO9B gene variant may be a risk factor for refractory celiac disease type II (RCD II), a severe form of the disease that carries a high risk of enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma (EATL), according to an article published in Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology in December.

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Early Cholecystectomy Cuts Pancreatitis Hospital Stay

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with mild to moderate gallstone pancreatitis, early cholecystectomy reduces the length of time spent in hospital with no additional risk of mortality or complications, according to a study published in the December issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

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Mortality Rate Increased in Crohn's Disease Patients

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with inflammatory bowel disease, mortality is increased in those with Crohn's disease compared to ulcerative colitis, and medication has varying associations with mortality in both conditions, according to research published in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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Survival Superior for Living Donor Liver Transplantation

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- In adults with chronic liver disease, living donor liver transplantation results in a significant survival benefit compared to either waiting for or receiving a deceased donor liver transplantation, according to study findings published in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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Australian Rules Footballer Commits Party Foul

MONDAY, Dec. 24 (HealthDay News) -- While participating in festivities, it's wise to limit consumption of alcoholic beverage containers to zero, according to an article published in the Dec. 22 issue of BMJ.

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Roenigk Score for Liver Damage Reliable

MONDAY, Dec. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The Roenigk system to classify liver fibrosis is reliable with reasonable interobserver variability, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Dermatology.

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H. Pylori May Protect Against Esophageal Cancer

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Despite Helicobacter pylori's well-established link with gastric cancer, a meta-analysis suggests that H. pylori infection may confer protection against Barrett's esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma, according to an article published in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Mechanical Factors Worsen Acid Reflux in Elderly

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The increased severity of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms in the elderly may be due to age-related degradation of the gastroesophageal junction barrier and impaired esophageal clearance, according to an article published in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Telbivudine Tops Lamivudine for Chronic Hepatitis B

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with chronic hepatitis B who are hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) positive, telbivudine is associated with improved rates of therapeutic response, and, regardless of HBeAg status, superior viral suppression and less development of resistance compared to lamivudine, according to an article published in the Dec. 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Radiofrequency Ablation Type Affects Liver Tumors

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with small hepatocellular carcinoma, percutaneous radiofrequency ablation may be preferable to surgical radiofrequency ablation, while the opposite may apply to patients with medium hepatocellular carcinoma, according to research published in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Childhood Environment Affects Adult Liver Function

TUESDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Environmental exposures during early life affect adult liver function, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

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Cancer Drug Linked to Cardiac Toxicity

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Sunitinib can lead to cardiac toxicity, such as heart failure, hypertension and reductions in left ventricular ejection fraction, when used to treat cancer patients, researchers report in the Dec. 15 issue of The Lancet.

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Chemo After Surgery for Colon Cancer Improves Survival

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Chemotherapy with fluorouracil and folinic acid reduces the risk of mortality and recurrence in patients with stage II colorectal cancer after apparently curative surgery, according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of The Lancet.

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Pig Study Shows Vasopressin's Effect on Blood Flow

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The use of low-dose vasopressin in a pig model of septic shock caused substantial redistribution of splanchnic regional and microcirculatory blood flow, resulting in significantly lower total liver blood flow and a marked decrease in microcirculatory blood flow in the pancreas, according to research published in the December issue of Critical Care.

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Baclofen Helps Alcoholics with Cirrhosis Stay Abstinent

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with baclofen enables alcoholics with liver cirrhosis to safely maintain abstinence and reduce liver damage, researchers report in the Dec. 8 issue of The Lancet.

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High Colon Cancer Risk for Schizophrenic Patients

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with schizophrenia are at a higher risk of colon cancer but have a lower risk of respiratory cancer compared to the general population, according to the results of a study published in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Virtual Colonography Inferior to Colonoscopy

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with a positive fecal occult blood test, computerized tomography colonography (CTC) is less accurate and effective, and potentially more expensive than standard colonoscopy in detecting colorectal neoplasia, according to a report published in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Medicare Beneficiaries Miss Colon Cancer Screenings

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Only one-quarter of elderly patients receive recommended screenings for colon cancer despite being covered by Medicare, according to a report released online Dec. 10 in advance of publication in the Jan. 15 issue of the journal Cancer.

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Red Meat Intake Linked to Various Cancers

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- People who eat diets rich in red meat may be at an increased risk of developing cancers of the esophagus, liver, colorectum and lung, while those with a high processed meat intake may have a greater risk of colorectal and lung cancer, according to research published in PLOS Medicine in December.

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FDA: No Increased Heart Risk with Prilosec or Nexium

TUESDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced this week that a comprehensive review of safety data on the gastroesophageal reflux drugs Prilosec (omeprazole) and Nexium (esomeprazole) did not find an increased risk of cardiovascular events associated with long-term use.

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Patients Benefit from Liver Transplantation, Fat or Thin

MONDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Regardless of their body mass index, patients with end-stage liver disease do better when they undergo liver transplantation versus no transplantation, according to a report published in the December issue of Liver Transplantation.

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Crohn's Disease Has Low Odds of Surgery

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The outlook for Crohn's disease patients is better than was previously thought, with only a low risk of requiring surgery, but 90 percent of patients will experience a relapse, according to a study published in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Perfusion CT Detects Early Signs of Pancreatic Necrosis

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with severe acute pancreatitis, pancreatic necrosis is preceded by ischemic changes that can be detected by perfusion computerized tomography (CT), according to a study published in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Proton Pump Inhibitors Raise Gastroenteritis Risk

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Acid-suppressing proton pump inhibitors raise the risk of Campylobacter and Salmonella gastroenteritis, but histamine-2 receptor antagonists do not have this effect, according to a report published in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Troubled Teens Show High Hepatitis C Exposure

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Research on juvenile male legal offenders in Australia revealed findings that could be used in diagnosing early liver disease in adolescents, according to study findings published in the December issue of Hepatology.

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Sleep Deprived Suffer More Severe GERD Symptoms

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is known to cause sleep deprivation related to nighttime heartburn or amnestic arousals during sleep. Recent findings suggest an inverse relationship of GERD symptoms and lack of sleep, with sleep deprivation resulting in heightened perception of GERD symptom severity, according to a report published in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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Bradykinin Protects Against Hepatic Fibrosis

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Bradykinin, the main effector of the kallikrein-kinin system (KKS), exerts a protective effect against hepatocyte damage and fibrosis in chronic liver disease, according to the results of a study published in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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Utility of Breath Tests for GI Disorders Reviewed

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The urea breath test for Helicobacter pylori is an accurate, non-invasive way to identify gastrointestinal (GI) infection before and after antibiotic therapy, researchers report in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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