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Digestive Disease Week, May 3-6

Last Updated: May 07, 2014.

Digestive Disease Week 2014

The Digestive Disease Week annual meeting, sponsored by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, American Gastroenterological Association, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, and Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, was held from May 3 to 6 in Chicago and attracted approximately 16,000 participants from around the world. Attendees included researchers and academics in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy, and gastrointestinal surgery. The conference featured thousands of abstracts and hundreds of lectures highlighting recent advances in gastroenterology research, medicine, and technology.

In one study, Hamita Sachar, M.D., of the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues found that intermittent proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy is comparable to continuous PPI infusion in patients with bleeding ulcers with high-risk features that require endoscopic therapy. The current treatment guidelines recommend that patients obtain an initial dose of PPI followed by a maintenance dose through a continuous intravenous line for 72 hours.

In this study, the investigators reviewed data from 13 trials involving 1,691 patients with bleeding ulcers with high-risk features that required endoscopic therapy. The investigators found that intermittent PPI therapy was comparable to continuous PPI infusion in terms of the risk of re-bleeding, death, need for surgery, additional blood transfusions, and/or an increased length of hospital stay.

"Intermittent PPI therapy is less expensive, requires less resource utilization, and is easier to use," said Sachar. "Therefore, it should be the regimen of choice in this patient population."

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In an open-label, safety study, Yishai Ron, M.D., of the Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in Israel, and colleagues found that an oral vibrating capsule was effective in treating patients with chronic constipation. The investigators evaluated the safety of this device in 26 patients with chronic idiopathic constipation and constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome.

"The results show that patients nearly doubled their number of weekly bowel movements, from two times per week to four times per week -- a major improvement in bowel movement frequency. We were also able to improve other issues associated with constipation," said Ron. "Since this is a preliminary study, definitive conclusions cannot be drawn. In the future, we hope that it will be enabled for general practitioners to use as well, not just gastroenterologists."

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Michel Murr, M.D., of the Tampa General Hospital and University of Florida Health Bariatric Center, and colleagues found that, in patients who underwent bariatric surgery, the liver exhibited steatohepatitis and fibrosis. The investigators then went back and biopsied the liver about 2.5 years after bariatric surgery when the weight loss had stabilized.

"We found that fat deposition and steatohepatitis resolved 90 percent of the time; more importantly, fibrosis of the liver resolved in 60 percent of patients. When we drilled down, early stage fibrosis (stage 1 and 2) had the most improvement and did well," said Murr. "This is advancement. Liver fibrosis is a non-reversible and permanent condition. Now we have objective evidence that weight loss can change the histology of the liver and reverse fibrosis. We are coming into an epidemic of obesity-related nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and 20 percent will develop serious complications. We now have a way to intervene with surgery for weight loss."

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DDW: Electroacupuncture Useful for Endoscopic Ultrasound

WEDNESDAY, May 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing endoscopic ultrasound, use of electroacupuncture is associated with reduced discomfort and improved patient satisfaction, according to a study presented at the annual Digestive Disease Week, held from May 3 to 6 in Chicago.

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DDW: Gastroenterologists Missing Chances to Shift to Generic Meds

TUESDAY, May 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Although most gastroenterologists feel that store-brand and branded treatments are equivalent, most continue to recommend branded products for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and chronic constipation, according to two studies presented at the annual Digestive Disease Week, held from May 3 to 6 in Chicago.

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DDW: Endoscopic L-Menthol Spray Ups Colon Polyp Detection

TUESDAY, May 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing colonoscopy, L-menthol sprayed directly onto the colonic mucosa improves the adenoma detection rate, according to a study presented at the annual Digestive Disease Week, held from May 3 to 6 in Chicago.

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DDW: New Regimen Effective for HCV Genotype 1a, 1b

MONDAY, May 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new regimen shows promise for hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 infection, and sofosbuvir and ribavirin are active in HCV genotypes 2 and 3 infection, according to two studies published online May 4 in the New England Journal of Medicine. This research was published to coincide with the annual Digestive Disease Week, held from May 3 to 6 in Chicago.

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DDW: Dual Method Assists in Removal of Right Colon Polyps

MONDAY, May 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Laparoscopic-assisted colonoscopy with polypectomy (LACP) may be an effective alternative to laparoscopic hemicolectomy (LHC) for difficult-to-remove polyps in the right colon, according to research presented at the annual Digestive Disease Week, held from May 3 to 6 in Chicago.

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