Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Chronic Pediatric Pancreatitis and (No) Persistent Belly Pain
Chronic Pediatric Pancreatitis and (No) Persistent Belly Pain 1024 575 Katie Brind'Amour, PhD, MS, CHES

Underlying — even silent — chronic pancreatitis can be at play in children without previous acute pancreatitis episodes, including among children with little or no reported pain. Pancreatitis in children is rare (about 3-13 per 100,000 people per year), but diagnosis is increasing, at least in part due to increased awareness among physicians. The path…

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Study Highlights Relationship Between SI Gene and Chronic, Idiopathic Loose Stool in Some Children
Study Highlights Relationship Between SI Gene and Chronic, Idiopathic Loose Stool in Some Children 1024 680 Abbie Roth
Close up color photo of little boy holding hands on his belly

Researchers conducted one of the largest prospective, multicenter trials in pediatrics looking at the connection between SI variants and common gastrointestinal symptoms. The SI gene codes for the sucrase-isomaltase enzyme, which is expressed in the intestinal brush border. This enzyme is important to the digestion of sucrose, and without it, maldigestion and poor absorption of…

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Exploring the Link Between Cystic Fibrosis and Celiac Disease
Exploring the Link Between Cystic Fibrosis and Celiac Disease 1024 575 Lauren Dembeck

Overlapping symptoms can cause delayed diagnosis of celiac disease in patients with cystic fibrosis. Physician scientists at Nationwide Children’s Hospital have recently identified three cases of patients with cystic fibrosis, all of whom had the same genotype, were treated with the CFTR modulator, ivacaftor, and were diagnosed with celiac disease. This adds to a novel body…

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Could Restoring CD4+ T Cell Immunity Help Control Hepatitis C Infection?
Could Restoring CD4+ T Cell Immunity Help Control Hepatitis C Infection? 1024 683 Kevin Mayhood

Following childbirth, some women with chronic infection experienced a recovery of HCV-specific CD4+ T cells and a reduction in viral replication. In chronic hepatitis C (HCV) infections, CD4+ T cells that recognize the virus have been so hard to detect, some researchers thought they may be completely depleted. But research led by investigators at Nationwide Children’s…

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New Ultrasound Technique for Monitoring Liver Disease
New Ultrasound Technique for Monitoring Liver Disease 150 150 Mary Bates, PhD

Ultrasound elastography accurately and noninvasively measures liver fibrosis in patients with short bowel syndrome.

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New Guidelines Offer Practical Tools to Treat GI Reflux
New Guidelines Offer Practical Tools to Treat GI Reflux 150 150 Jeb Phillips

An international committee’s new recommendations reflect shifting opinions about acid-suppressive medications and include an expanded diagnostic algorithm. While reflux-related complaints are heard often by pediatric gastroenterologists and primary care physicians, it can be difficult to tell when gastroesophageal reflux (GER) crosses the line into gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) — or how that disease should be…

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A Better Non-Invasive Method To Monitor Liver Disease in Short Bowel Syndrome?
A Better Non-Invasive Method To Monitor Liver Disease in Short Bowel Syndrome? 150 150 Jeb Phillips

A pilot study suggests that acoustic radiation force impulse elastography can help monitor liver disease in children with short bowel syndrome. Patients with intestinal failure (most frequently caused by short bowel syndrome) are at risk for developing liver disease due to multiple contributing factors, including the underlying cause of their intestinal failure, need for parenteral…

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New Guidelines Better Diagnose Common GI Disorders
New Guidelines Better Diagnose Common GI Disorders 150 150 Jeb Phillips

The new Rome IV criteria offer guidance to common but often misunderstood conditions. Because there are no clear causes of functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs), diagnosis and treatment can be difficult. Some physicians and parents may doubt the disorders exist at all, although pediatric gastroenterologists estimate they affect 30 to 40 percent of children. However, recently…

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Study Links Acute Infections With Later Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
Study Links Acute Infections With Later Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders 150 150 Jeb Phillips

Link between acute infection in preschoolers and development of FGIDs in school-aged children could point toward interventions. Functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) are among the most common pediatric health conditions and often first appear in school-aged children. Acute diarrhea, also very common, often first manifests in preschoolers. A recently published prospective study shows that there may…

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Do You Believe in Integrated Health Care?
Do You Believe in Integrated Health Care? 150 150 Miguel Saps, MD

Patients are more than a segregated set of organ systems. Treating them as whole beings requires the practice of integrated medicine. I believe in an integrated approach to health care. The care of patients is often envisioned as fractionated, with different specialists taking care of different organs or organ systems — a model that I…

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Crohn’s Disease Not Exempt From Racial Disparities
Crohn’s Disease Not Exempt From Racial Disparities 150 150 Gina Bericchia

Disparities exist among pediatric Crohn’s patients of different races for a number of health care metrics. A study published in the journal Inflammatory Bowel Diseases found significant differences in hospital readmissions, medication usage and both medical and surgical complications of children with Crohn’s disease related to race. In the study, black children had a 1.5 times higher frequency…

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Fighting Fibrosis
Fighting Fibrosis 1024 575 Katie Brind'Amour, PhD, MS, CHES
Colorful illustration showing how fibrosis, or a spiky lumpy mass of scar tissue, forms over healthy liver tissue when the liver attempts to repair and replace damaged cells

Fibrosis is an unmet medical challenge with no satisfactory test and insufficient therapy. Now, one naturally occurring cellular component could simultaneously diagnose and heal patients. It’s much more than a million-dollar idea. The person who invents a simple blood or urine test that can accurately measure the severity of scarring in internal organs will have…

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The Continence Predictor Index
The Continence Predictor Index 150 150 Marc Levitt, MD
Probing for Links Between Psychotropic Drugs and Severe Liver Disease
Probing for Links Between Psychotropic Drugs and Severe Liver Disease 150 150 Kevin Mayhood

Drugs that help minors with severe mental health disorders may put overweight and obese patients at risk for severe liver disease. In a paper that appears to be the first to suggest the connection, the authors point out that youths who suffer from psychiatric illnesses are already at greater risk for obesity and its comorbidities.…

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