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July 2007 Briefing - Gastroenterology

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

Bariatric Surgery Complications Less Likely at Some Hospitals

TUESDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- Bariatric surgery patients have fewer complications if they undergo surgery at high-volume hospitals rather than low-volume hospitals, according to a report from HealthGrades, a health care ratings company.

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At Least 18 Cryptosporidiosis Outbreaks in 2006

MONDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- At least 18 outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis occurred in the United States in 2006, most of them associated with exposure to pools and water parks, according to a report in the July 27 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Because Cryptosporidium oocysts can survive in chlorinated water, public education and new ways to disinfect recreational water facilities are needed to combat the parasite.

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FDA to Allow Use of Zelnorm in Select Patients

FRIDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Friday that it will allow restricted use of Zelnorm (tegaserod maleate) in female patients under 55 with chronic constipation that is idiopathic or related to irritable bowel syndrome.

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Polyethylene Glycol Beneficial for Chronic Constipation

FRIDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- Polyethylene glycol is a safe and efficacious long-term treatment for chronic constipation, even among the elderly, according to a report published in the July issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Gene Therapy Virus May Cause Liver Cancer

THURSDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- The adeno-associated virus, a possible candidate vector for use in gene therapy, can integrate into the genome of mice and affect the expression of neighboring genes, possibly explaining the development of liver cancer, researchers report in the July 27 issue of Science.

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Active Screening Can Pick Up Cases of Celiac Disease

THURSDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- Active screening for celiac disease can significantly improve the diagnostic rate, according to a report in the July issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology. The most common complaints include bloating, thyroid disease, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic diarrhea, fatigue and constipation.

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Editorial

Some Crohn's Drugs Linked with Risk of Preterm Birth

WEDNESDAY, July 25 (HealthDay News) -- Women with Crohn's disease who take steroids or azathioprine (AZA)/6-mercaptopurine (6-MP) alone or in combination with other drugs during pregnancy may have an increased risk of preterm birth compared to women who take no medication or other medications, according to an analysis of a large Danish registry published in the July issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Editorial

Diagnostic Tool Detects Minimal Hepatic Encephalopathy

WEDNESDAY, July 25 (HealthDay News) -- Critical flicker frequency, which measures the frequency at which the eye distinguishes a flickering light from a fused beam, is an accurate test to diagnose minimal hepatic encephalopathy, according to a report in the July issue of the Journal of Hepatology.

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Editorial

Hepatitis B Linked to Higher Risk of Gestational Diabetes

TUESDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- Women who are infected with hepatitis B virus are more likely to develop gestational diabetes than women who are not, according to a retrospective analysis conducted in Hong Kong and published in the July issue of the Journal of Hepatology.

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Study Compares Narrow Band to White Light Colonoscopy

TUESDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- There is no significant difference between white light colonoscopy and narrow band imaging when it comes to detecting adenomas if the examinations are performed by a single skilled endoscopist, researchers report in the July issue of Gastroenterology.

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Waist Size, Not BMI, Linked to Barrett's Esophagus Risk

FRIDAY, July 20 (HealthDay News) -- Although abdominal circumference is associated with the risk of Barrett's esophagus, a patient's body mass index, or BMI, has no independent association with the condition, according to the results of a case-control study published in the July issue of Gastroenterology.

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Branch-Duct Pancreatic Tumors Less Likely to Be Malignant

FRIDAY, July 20 (HealthDay News) -- Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs) in the branch ducts of the pancreas are significantly less likely to be malignant than IPMNs arising in the main ducts, according to a report in the July issue of Gastroenterology.

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Editorial

Microbiota Altered in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

THURSDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with irritable bowel syndrome have intestinal microbiota that is significantly different from controls, including an absence of some Lactobacilli genera and an overabundance of other types of bacteria, according to an analysis of fecal nucleic acids published in the July issue of Gastroenterology.

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Editorial

High Levels of Vitamin D Linked to Lower Colon Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- High plasma levels of vitamin D are associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer, particularly colon cancer, according to the results of a nested case-control study published in the July 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The association was stronger in lean, physically active patients than in sedentary or overweight patients.

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Modified Antibody Effective in Treating Crohn's Disease

WEDNESDAY, July 18 (HealthDay News) -- The experimental drug certolizumab pegol, a pegylated antibody fragment that binds tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), is more effective than placebo in treating patients with Crohn's disease, according to two studies in the July 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abstract - Sandborn
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Abstract - Schreiber
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Editorial

Prevalence, Severity of C. Difficile Colitis Increasing

TUESDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence, total mortality rate and colectomy rate of Clostridium difficile colitis has dramatically increased in the United States since 1993, according to a report in the July issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Gene Variant Doubles Risk for Gallstones

MONDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who have a certain variant of the ABCG8 cholesterol transporter gene, which is expressed in the liver, may have more than double the risk for gallstone disease, according to study findings published online July 15 in Nature Genetics.

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Transient Elastography No Substitute for Liver Biopsy

FRIDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- Transient elastography, a non-invasive technique for predicting liver fibrosis, is very useful in patients with chronic liver disease, but is not sufficiently reproducible to warrant replacement of liver biopsy in patients with certain conditions, according to the results of a study published in the July issue of Gut.

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Shorter Treatment Less Effective for Some Types of Hepatitis C

WEDNESDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Patients infected with certain genotypes of hepatitis C virus (HCV) have a higher sustained virologic response to treatment with peginterferon and ribavirin when they are treated for the standard 24 weeks rather than 16 weeks, according to the results of a study in the July 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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H. pylori May Play Role in Some Cases of Cardia Cancer

WEDNESDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Although Helicobacter pylori infection is thought to be unrelated to cardia cancer, or possibly to lower the risk of the disease, some cases of cardia cancer appear to be associated with H. pylori-related atrophic gastritis, according to a study in the July issue of Gut.

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Juvenile Polyposis Increases Colorectal Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with juvenile polyposis are at significantly higher risk of developing colorectal cancer and should be closely monitored from a young age, according to study findings published in the July issue of Gut.

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Receptor Plays Role in Pancreatic Cancer Migration

TUESDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- Unlike normal pancreatic tissue, most pancreatic cancers express the RON receptor, and blockade of the receptor can prevent cancer cell invasion and migration and promote cell death, according to the results of an in vitro study published in the July 1 issue of Cancer Research.

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New Equipment Cuts Illnesses at Child Care Centers

FRIDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- Installing high-quality hand-washing and other equipment designed to halt the spread of infectious agents can reduce episodes of illness in children and staff at child care centers, researchers report in the July issue of Pediatrics.

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Pet Turtle Linked to Infant's Death

FRIDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- Small pet turtles sold in the United States are associated with a risk of salmonellosis in children, and may have caused an infant's death earlier this year, according to a report in the July 6 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Their sale is banned by federal law in the United States, but sales still occur.

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Probiotic Drink Reduces Antibiotic-Related Diarrhea

TUESDAY, July 3 (HealthDay News) -- Among elderly people being treated with antibiotics, those given a probiotic beverage may be less prone to diarrhea, according to a report published online June 29 in BMJ.

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Preadolescent Athletes May Use Doping Agents

MONDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- Among preadolescent athletes who train every day, a small percentage use doping agents, which increases over time, according to the results of a French study published in the June issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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Physician's Briefing
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