The Central California Valley has a diverse population with significant proportions of Hispanics and Asians. This cross-sectional study was conducted to evaluate the prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) in healthy blood donors in the Valley.
A total of 217,738 voluntary blood donors were identified between 2006 and 2010 (36,795 first-time donors; 180,943 repeat donors).
Among the first-time donors, the HBV and HCV prevalence was 0.28% and 0.52%, respectively. Higher HBV prevalence seen in Asians (3%) followed by Caucasians (0.05%), African Americans (0.15%), and Hispanics (0.05%). Hmong had a HBV prevalence of 7.63% with a peak prevalence of 8.76% among the 16- to 35-year-old age group. Highest HCV prevalence in Native Americans (2.8) followed by Caucasians (0.59%), Hispanics (0.45%), African Americans (0.38%), and Asians (0.2%).
Ethnic disparities persist with regard to the prevalence of HBV and HCV in the Central California Valley. The reported prevalence may be an underestimate because our study enrolled healthy volunteer blood donors only. The development of aggressive public health measures to evaluate the true prevalence of HBV and HCV and to identify those in need of HBV and HCV prevention measures and therapy is critically important.
Chronic hepatitis C; Chronic hepatitis B; Central Valley of California; Hmong; Blood donors
Liver metastases occur in up to 60% of patients with colorectal cancer, and the control of liver metastases is considered to be of primary importance because it is a critical factor in determining prognosis. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) therapy is one of the least invasive techniques for unresectable hepatic malignancies and can be performed safely using percutaneous, laparoscopic, or open surgical techniques. The local tumor progression rates after RFA for colorectal liver metastases range from 8.8% to 40.0%, and 5-year survival rates range from 20.0% to 48.5%. No prospective, randomized trials comparing the efficacy of RFA with that of surgical resection for colorectal liver metastases are currently available. However, some retrospective studies have reported that patients who received RFA had a survival rate similar to that observed in surgically treated groups, while other studies have reported better survival among patients who underwent surgical resection. The use of a laparoscopic or open surgical approach allows the repeated placement of RFA electrodes at multiple sites to ablate larger tumors. An accurate evaluation of treatment response is very important for the success of RFA therapy because a sufficient safety margin (at least 0.5 cm) can prevent local tumor progression. This review critically summarizes the current status of RFA for liver metastases from colorectal cancer.
Colorectal neoplasms; Liver metastasis; Safety margin; Radiofrequency ablation
During endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), all efforts should be made to be aware of radiation hazards and to reduce radiation exposure. The aim of this study was to investigate the status of radiation protective equipment and the awareness of radiation exposure in health care providers performing ERCP in Korean hospitals.
A survey with a total of 42 questions was sent to each respondent via mail or e-mail between October 2010 and March 2011. The survey targeted nurses and radiation technicians who participated in ERCP in secondary or tertiary referral centers.
A total of 78 providers from 38 hospitals responded to the surveys (response rate, 52%). The preparation and actual utilization rates of protective equipment were 55.3% and 61.9% for lead shields, 100% and 98.7% for lead aprons, 47.4% and 37.8% for lead glasses, 97.4% and 94.7% for thyroid shields, and 57.7% and 68.9% for radiation dosimeters, respectively. The common reason for not wearing protective equipment was that the equipment was bothersome, according to 45.7% of the respondents.
More protective equipment, such as lead shields and lead glasses, should be provided to health care providers involved in ERCP. In particular, the actual utilization rate for lead glasses was very low.
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography; Radiation exposure; Protective equipment
While chemoradiotherapy (CRT) is considered to be a reasonable treatment for locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC), there is little information about the associated risk of gastrointestinal (GI) hemorrhage. We investigated the clinical features of GI toxicity after CRT in patients with LAPC and examined the effect of GI hemorrhage on survival.
Patients enrolled in this study had received CRT for pathologically proven LAPC. Their medical records were retrospectively reviewed.
A total of 156 patients with LAPC (median age, 65 years; range, 39 to 90 years) who received treatment between August 2005 and March 2009 were included in this study. The most common GI toxicities were ulcer formation (25.6%) and hemorrhage (25.6%), and the most common grade 3 to grade 5 GI toxicity was hemorrhage (65%). The origins of GI hemorrhage were gastric ulcer (37.5%), duodenal ulcer (37.5%), and radiation gastritis (15.0%). The independent risk factor for GI hemorrhage was tumor location in the pancreatic body. The median overall survival of the patients with a GI hemorrhage was 13.8 months (range, 2.8 to 50.8 months) and was not significantly different from that of patients without GI hemorrhage.
GI hemorrhage was common in patients with LAPC after CRT. Although GI hemorrhage was controlled with endoscopic hemostasis, preventive measures should be investigated to reduce needless suffering.
Chemoradiotherapy; Gastrointestinal hemorrhage; Toxicities; Pancreatic neoplasms
Gastrointestinal leakage is one of the most serious post surgical complications and is a major source of mortality and morbidity. The insertion of a covered self-expandable metal stent could be a treatment option in selected cases. However, it is unclear how long the stent should be retained to achieve complete sealing, and membrane-covered stents have the problem of a high migration rate. We observed four cases of postsurgical leakage following the primary closure of a duodenal perforation, esophagojejunostomy, and esophagogastrostomy, each of which was successfully managed by the temporary placement of covered stents. In all cases, the optimal time of stent removal could be estimated by the markedly decreased amount of drainage, the lack of leakage observed on radiocontrast images, and the endoscopic findings. In this case series, all of the stents could be removed within 7 weeks. For those cases with a high risk of migration, stents with temporary fixations to earlobes and/or partially uncovered proximal flanges were used. These results suggest that the application of a covered stent could be a treatment option for various gastrointestinal leaks after surgery, particularly when the defect cannot be sealed by conservative care and the leakage has good external drainage.
Stents; Anastomotic leak; Drainage
Portal vein thrombosis (PVT) is commonly associated with liver cirrhosis, irrespective of the presence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Given that malignant PVT is a poor prognostic factor in patients with HCC, it is important to differentiate malignant PVT from benign PVT. Because malignant PVT has been reported to be contiguous with parenchymal HCC, in most cases, the presence of PVT alone indicates a benign entity. We report the case of a patient with rapid progression of malignant PVT mimicking benign PVT but without definite parenchymal HCC on imaging modalities.
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Portal vein thrombosis; Disease progression; Computed tomography; Magnetic resonance imaging
Attenuated familial adenomatous polyposis (AFAP) is a variant of familial adenomatous polyposis with fewer than one hundred colorectal polyps and a later age of onset of the cancer. Here, we report two cases of AFAP within family members. Each patient demonstrated the same novel germ line mutation in exon 15 of the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene and was successfully managed with sulindac after refusal to perform colectomy: a 23-year-old man with incidentally diagnosed gastric adenoma and fundic gland polyps underwent colonoscopy, and fewer than 100 colorectal polyps were found; a 48-year-old woman who happened to be the mother of the 23-year-old man also showed fewer than 100 colorectal polyps on colonoscopy. Genetic analysis revealed a novel frameshift mutation in exon 15 of the APC gene. The deletion of adenine-guanine with the insertion of thymine in c.3833-3834 resulted in the formation of stop codon 1,287 in both patients. The patients were treated with sulindac due to their refusal to undergo colectomy. The annual follow-up upper endoscopy and colonoscopy in the following 2 years revealed significant regression of the colorectal polyps in both patients.
Attenuated familial adenomatous polyposis; Mutation; APC; Exon 15
There have been few studies on the efficacy of proton pump inhibitors and the doses required to treat dyspeptic symptoms observed in clinical practice. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of different doses of omeprazole and different administration methods in Helicobacter pylori-negative, dyspeptic patients.
Patients with chronic upper abdominal symptoms within the previous 3 months were randomly divided into three groups: a daily, omeprazole 20 mg treatment group (OPZ20, n=61); a daily, omeprazole 10 mg treatment group (OPZ10, n=72); and an on-demand omeprazole 20 mg treatment group (on-demand, n=62). After 4 weeks of administration of the drug, symptom improvement rates were evaluated based on the Overall Global Severity score.
The rates of symptom improvement after 4 weeks of treatment were 65.6% (40/61) in the OPZ20 group, 47.2% (34/72) in the OPZ10 group, and 50.0% (31/62) in the on-demand group. The OPZ20 group exhibited a significantly higher improvement rate (p=0.034) than the OPZ10 group. The OPZ20 group had significant improvements in regurgitation, postprandial fullness, vomiting, and bloating compared with the OPZ10 group.
Daily treatment with 20 mg of omeprazole was efficient in treating upper abdominal symptoms. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, number UMIN000002621.
Dyspepsia; Proton pump inhibitors; Omeprazole; Primary health care
Anisakiasis is frequent in Jeju Island because of the people's habit of ingesting raw fish. This study evaluated the clinical characteristics of patients with small bowel anisakiasis and compared them with those of patients with gastric anisakiasis.
We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 109 patients diagnosed with anisakiasis between May 2003 and November 2011.
Of the 109 patients diagnosed with anisakiasis, those with suspicious anisakiasis (n=38) or possible anisakiasis (n=12) were excluded. The age and gender distributions did not differ between patients with small bowel anisakiasis (n=30; age, 45±13 years) and those with gastric anisakiasis (n=29; age, 46±10 years). The mean duration of hospitalization was 5.4±4.3 days for patients with small bowel anisakiasis and 0.5±1.7 days for patients with gastric anisakiasis. Small bowel anisakiasis was accompanied by leukocytosis (76.7% vs 25.5%, p=0.003) and elevated C-reactive protein levels (3.4±3.2 mg/dL vs 0.5±0.3 mg/dL, p=0.009). Contrast-enhanced abdominopelvic computed tomography showed small bowel wall thickening with dilatation in 93.3% (28/30) of patients and a small amount of ascites in 80.0% (24/30) of patients with small bowel anisakiasis.
Compared with gastric anisakiasis patients, small bowel anisakiasis patients had a longer hospitalization time, higher inflammatory marker levels, and small bowel wall thickening with ascites.
Anisakiasis; Small intestine; Stomach; Characteristics
The objective of this study was to evaluate a monoclonal antibody-based test to detect Helicobacter pylori-specific antigen in gastric aspirates from humans.
Sixty-one volunteers were enrolled in the study. All of the subjects underwent a 13C-urea breath test (UBT) before esophagogastroduodenoscopy. Gastric aspirates were analyzed for pH and ammonia and used for polymerase chain reaction (PCR), culture, and monoclonal antibody-based detection of H. pylori. Multiple biopsies of the gastric antrum and body were obtained for a rapid urease test (RUT) and histological evaluation.
Thirty-six subjects were H. pylori-positive and 25 were H. pylori-negative according to the UBT results. Compared with the H. pylori-negative subjects, H. pylori-positive subjects had a higher pH (4.77±1.77 vs 3.49±1.30, p<0.05) and ammonia level (1,130.9±767.4 vs 184.2±126.3, p<0.0001). The sensitivities and specificities of the PCR test, RUT, culture test, and monoclonal antibody-based test were 100% and 72%, 89% and 100%, 47% and 100%, and 78% and 100%, respectively.
The monoclonal antibody-based test for diagnosing H. pylori infection in gastric aspirates has increased sensitivity compared with the culture test and specificity as high as that of the RUT. The test may be useful as an additive test for examining gastric aspirates.
Helicobacter pylori; Gastric aspirate; Monoclonal antibody-based test
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) strongly express a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK, c-KIT-CD117) harboring a KIT mutation that causes constitutive receptor activation leading to the development and growth of tumors; 35% of GISTs without KIT mutations have platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRA) mutations, and the type of mutation plays an important role in the response to treatment. This study aimed to establish the frequency of stop codon mutations in the RTKs, KIT, and PDGFRA, in GISTs and correlate this molecular alteration with protein expression and treatment responsiveness.
Seventy-nine GISTs were analyzed for both KIT and PDGFRA mutations. Immunohistochemical expression was studied in tissue microarray blocks.
We found three rare KIT mutations in exon 11 that induced a stop codon, two at position 563 and one at position 589, which have never been described before. All three tumors were CD117-, DOG1-, and CD34-positive. Two patients with a KIT stop codon mutation did not respond to imatinib therapy and died shortly after treatment.
The association between stop codon mutations in KIT and patient survival, if confirmed in a larger population, may be useful in choosing effective therapies.
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors; c-KIT; Platelet-derived growth factor alpha receptor
Intestinal metaplasia (IM) is a premalignant condition. This study aimed to evaluate the correlation between endoscopic and histological findings of IM.
The cases of IM were graded by conventional endoscopy, and biopsies were taken from the antrum and body of 1,333 subjects for histological IM diagnosis. Multivariate analyses were performed to identify the factors that affect the sensitivity of endoscopic IM diagnosis.
The sensitivity/specificity of endoscopic IM diagnosis based on histology was 24.0%/91.9% for the antrum and 24.2%/88.0% for the body. As indicated by multivariate analysis, the presence of endoscopic atrophic gastritis (AG) (odds ratio [OR], 4.73; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.07 to 10.79) and the activity of mucosal inflammation (OR, 2.21; 95% CI, 1.08 to 4.54) were associated with the sensitivity of endoscopic IM diagnosis in the antrum, while the presence of endoscopic AG (OR, 8.02; 95% CI, 4.55 to 14.15), dysplasia (OR, 2.40; 95% CI, 1.07 to 5.39), and benign gastric ulcers (OR, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.15 to 0.081) were associated with the sensitivity of endoscopic IM diagnosis in the body.
As the sensitivity of endoscopic IM diagnosis was low, a high index of suspicion for IM is necessary in the presence of atrophy, and confirmation by histology is also necessary.
Diagnosis; Endoscopy; Histology; Intestinal metaplasia
The symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) fluctuate considerably over time. However, it has not been determined whether these symptoms are affected by the menstrual cycle in female IBD patients. This study analyzed the effects of the menstrual cycle on IBD symptom variation.
This was a prospective study of 91 study subjects (47 IBD patients and 44 healthy controls) who reported daily symptoms and signs throughout their menstrual cycles.
IBD patients had significantly more frequent gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea (30% vs 7%, p=0.006), flatulence (53% vs 22%, p=0.003), and abdominal pain as compared to controls (68% vs 38%, p=0.006). The IBD patients also experienced more frequent systemic premenstrual symptoms than the controls (79% vs 50%, p=0.003). More severe abdominal pain (p=0.002) and lower mean general condition scores (p=0.001) were noted during the menstrual phase as compared to the pre- or post-menstrual phase in both groups. IBD patients experienced more frequent premenstrual gastrointestinal symptoms than controls, but their IBD symptoms did not change significantly during the menstrual cycle.
Knowledge of the cyclic alterations in gastrointestinal and systemic symptoms may be helpful in determining the true exacerbation of disease in female IBD patients.
Inflammatory bowel diseases; Menstrual cycle; Women
This study sought to determine the natural course of Crohn's disease (CD) and identify predictors that could indicate responsiveness to corticosteroid (CS) therapy.
Patients with active CD who were treated with oral CS at a single institution between August 1994 and February 2008 were retrospectively reviewed. The clinical outcomes at 1 month, 4 months, and 1 year after the treatment, as well as clinical and biochemical parameters at the time of CS initiation, were evaluated.
A total of 96 patients with CD were enrolled. In this study, 37 patients achieved complete remission (38.5%), 49 achieved partial remission (51.0%), and 10 (10.4%) showed no response at 1 month after the initiation of CS treatment. At 4 months and 1 year after treatment, 66 (69.5%) and 47 (56.6%) patients showed prolonged response, 22 (23.2%) and 20 (24.1%) showed steroid dependency, and 7 (7.4%) and 16 (19.3%) showed refractoriness, respectively. Nonstricturing and nonpenetrating behaviors and a lower CD activity index demonstrated clinical significance for mid-term or mid- and long-term steroid responses, respectively.
The short-term response rate to initial oral CS therapy in CD was considerably high, but responsiveness thereafter showed a tendency to decrease with time. Clinical parameters reflecting mild inflammation were associated with responsiveness after CS treatment.
Inflammatory bowel diseases; Crohn disease; Adrenal cortex hormones; Steroids
The mucosa of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract exhibits hydrophobic, nonwettable properties that protect the underlying epithelium from gastric acid and other luminal toxins. These biophysical characteristics appear to be attributable to the presence of an extracellular lining of surfactant-like phospholipids on the luminal aspects of the mucus gel layer. Phosphatidylcholine (PC) represents the most abundant and surface-active form of gastric phospholipids. PC protected experimental rats from a number of ulcerogenic agents and/or conditions including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are chemically associated with PC. Moreover, preassociating a number of the NSAIDs with exogenous PC prevented a decrease in the hydrophobic characteristics of the mucus gel layer and protected rats against the injurious GI side effects of NSAIDs while enhancing and/or maintaining their therapeutic activity. Bile plays an important role in the ability of NSAIDs to induce small intestinal injury. NSAIDs are rapidly absorbed from the GI tract and, in many cases, undergo enterohepatic circulation. Thus, NSAIDs with extensive enterohepatic cycling are more toxic to the GI tract and are capable of attenuating the surface hydrophobic properties of the mucosa of the lower GI tract. Biliary PC plays an essential role in the detoxification of bile salt micelles. NSAIDs that are secreted into the bile injure the intestinal mucosa via their ability to chemically associate with PC, which forms toxic mixed micelles and limits the concentration of biliary PC available to interact with and detoxify bile salts. We have worked to develop a family of PC-associated NSAIDs that appear to have improved GI safety profiles with equivalent or better therapeutic efficacy in both rodent model systems and pilot clinical trials.
Phosphatidylcholines; Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents; Phospholipids; Bile
Low gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) level was shown to be an independent predictor of a sustained virological response (SVR) in chronic hepatitis C. We aimed to determine factors associated with high GGT level, and to evaluate whether low GGT level is an independent predictor of a SVR in chronic hepatitis C genotype 1.
We retrospectively reviewed our data of patients with chronic hepatitis C genotype 1 treated with pegylated interferon-α and ribavirin. Baseline features were compared between patients with normal and high GGT levels. Factors associated with high GGT level and those associated with a SVR were determined by univariate and multivariate analysis.
This study included 57 patients. Mean age was 52.28±9.35 years. GGT levels was elevated in 27 patients (47.4%). GGT levels were normal in 63.3% of the patients who achieved a SVR and in 40.7% of those who did not achieve a SVR (p>0.05). By multivariate logistic regression analysis, the presence of cirrhosis (odds ratio [OR], 9.41; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.08 to 102.61) and female gender (OR, 6.77; 95% CI, 1.23 to 37.20) were significantly associated with high GGT level, and only rapid virological response was associated with a SVR (OR, 8.369; 95% CI, 1.82 to 38.48).
Low GGT level does not predict a SVR; however, it may be a predictor of high fibrosis scores.
Chronic hepatitis C; Gamma-glutamyltransferase
Biochemical parameters and acute-phase proteins (APPs) may provide complementary data in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC). We aimed to evaluate the predictive role of APPs in the response to antiviral therapy.
Forty-five patients underwent antiviral therapy. Serum ferritin, C-reactive protein (CRP), transferrin, albumin, alpha-1 acid glycoprotein (A1AG), and alpha-2 macroglobulin (A2MG) levels were examined at the initial evaluation and at the 4th, 12th, and 48th weeks. HCV RNA levels were examined at the initial evaluation and at the 12th and 48th weeks.
Ferritin, transferrin, A1AG, and A2MG levels were significantly higher in the patient group (p<0.05). CRP, ferritin, A1AG, and A2MG levels were significantly increased from baseline to the 4th week (p<0.05). The responders and nonresponders to antiviral therapy had insignificantly but remarkably different levels of CRP, ferritin, transferrin, A1AG, A2MG, and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) both at the initial evaluation and at the 12th week.
Variations in ferritin, A1AG, A2MG, albumin, CRP, and transferrin levels are not alternatives to virological and biochemical parameters for predicting an early response to therapy in patients with CHC. However, the investigation of ALT levels and hepatitis C virus RNA in combination with acute-phase reactants may provide supplementary data for evaluating responses to antiviral therapy.
Hepatitis C; Acute-phase proteins; Hepatitis C virus RNA
To determine if hepatocellular carcinoma refractory to conventional transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) responds to TACE with DC beads.
Between July 2008 to June 2010, 435 patients underwent TACE. Of these, 10 patients who had tumors refractory to conventional TACE and who thus were treated with TACE with DC beads were enrolled in this study. The treatment response after TACE with DC beads was evaluated according to the modified Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (mRECIST) and the Response Evaluation Criteria in Cancer of the Liver (RECICL).
Ten tumors were treated in 10 patients. Using the mRECIST and the RECICL, a complete response was observed in four (40%) of the tumors, and six tumors (60%) showed a partial response. Eight (80%) out of 10 HCCs showed delayed enhancement patterns upon angiography, and better responses were observed in these cases following DC bead treatment. The adverse effects of treatment with DC beads became tolerable.
TACE with DC beads was effective for HCCs refractory to conventional TACE, and this treatment elicited a better response, especially when the tumors were small and showed a delayed enhancement pattern upon angiography.
Bead; Chemoembolization; Refractory; Hepatocellular carcinoma
The objective of this study was to compare the clinical characteristics of patients with autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) with or without Mikulicz's disease (MD) and with MD alone.
We investigated the clinical findings in 15 AIP patients with MD (group A+M), 49 AIP only patients (group A), and 14 MD only patients (group M).
The male-female ratio was significantly higher in group A+M (73%, p<0.05) and group A (78%, p<0.01) than group M (21%). Serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels were significantly higher in group A+M than in group A (p<0.01) and group M (p<0.05). Serum IgG4 levels were significantly higher in group A+M than in group A (p<0.01). Other organ involvement was observed in 73% (11/15) of patients in group A+M. The number of patients with diabetes mellitus was significantly higher in group A+M (66%, p<0.01) and group A (51%, p<0.05) than in group M (7%). All of the patients responded well to steroid therapy, but the relapse rate in group A+M (33%) was significantly higher than that in group A (3%, p<0.01). Salivary gland function was impaired in all groups compared with the control group, but the degree of dysfunction was less in group A compared with group A+M and group M.
The relapse rate of AIP in MD patients was significantly higher than that of AIP in patients without MD.
Autoimmune pancreatitis; Mikulicz' disease; Immunoglobulin G; IgG4-related disease; Steroid therapy
Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is an advanced endoscopic technique currently used in the staging and diagnosis of many gastrointestinal neoplasms. The proximity of the echoendoscope to the gastrointestinal tract lends itself to a detailed view of the luminal pathology and the pancreas. This unique ability enables endoscopists to use EUS in patients with gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs). Diagnostic EUS allows previously unidentified NETs to be localized. EUS also determines tumor management by staging the GEP-NETS, enabling the clinicians to choose the appropriate endoscopic or surgical management. The ability to obtain a tissue diagnosis with EUS guidance enables disease confirmation. Finally, recent developments suggest that EUS may be used to deliver therapeutic agents for the treatment of NETs. This review will highlight the advances in our knowledge of EUS in the clinical management of these tumors.
Endoscopic ultrasound; Neuroendocrine tumor; Carcinoid; Pancreas; Stomach
Dietary factors and the associated lifestyle play a major role in the pathophysiology of many diseases. Several diets, especially a Western lifestyle with a high consumption of meat and carbohydrates and a low consumption of vegetables, have been linked to common diseases, such as metabolic syndrome, atherosclerosis, inflammatory bowel diseases, and colon cancer. The gastrointestinal tract harbors a complex and yet mainly molecularly defined microbiota, which contains an enormous number of different species. Recent advances in sequencing technologies have allowed the characterization of the human microbiome and opened the possibility to study the effect of "environmental" factors on this microbiome. The most important environmental factor is probably "what we eat," and the initial studies have revealed fascinating results on the interaction of nutrients with our microbiota. Whereas short-term changes in dietary patterns may not have major influences, long-term diets can affect the microbiota in a substantial manner. This issue may potentially have major relevance for human gastrointestinal health and disease because our microbiota has features to regulate many immune and metabolic functions. Increasing our knowledge on the interaction between nutrients and microbiota may have tremendous consequences and result in a better understanding of diseases, even beyond the gastrointestinal tract, and finally lead to better preventive and therapeutic strategies.
Nutrition; Inflammation; Intestinal immunity; Microflora
In the pathogenesis of pancreatitis, oxidative stress is involved in the activation of the Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK/STAT) pathway and cytokine expression. High serum levels of cholecystokinin (CCK) have been reported in patients with acute pancreatitis, and treatment with cerulein, a CCK analogue, induces acute pancreatitis in a rodent model. Recent studies have shown that cerulein-activated nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase elicits reactive oxygen species, which trigger the phosphorylation of the JAK1, STAT1, and STAT3 proteins and induce the production of inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, and IL-6, in pancreatic acinar cells. The JAK/STAT pathway also stimulates cell proliferation and malignant transformation and inhibits apoptosis in the pancreas. This review discusses the possible role of the JAK/STAT pathway in the pathogenesis of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer in response to oxidative stress.
JAK/STAT; Pancreatitis; Pancreatic cancer; Oxidative stress
Antithrombotic/nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) therapies increase the incidence of upper gastrointestinal bleeding. The features of hemorrhagic peptic ulcer disease in patients receiving antithrombotic/NSAID therapies were investigated.
We investigated the medical records of 485 consecutive patients who underwent esophagogastroduodenoscopy and were diagnosed with hemorrhagic gastroduodenal ulcers. The patients treated with antithrombotic agents/NSAIDs were categorized as the antithrombotic therapy (AT) group (n=213). The patients who were not treated with antithrombotics/NSAIDs were categorized as the control (C) group (n=263). The clinical characteristics were compared between the groups.
The patients in the AT group were significantly older than those in the C group (p<0.0001). The hemoglobin levels before/without transfusion were significantly lower in the AT group (8.24±2.41 g/dL) than in the C group (9.44±2.95 g/dL) (p<0.0001). After adjusting for age, the difference in the hemoglobin levels between the two groups remained significant (p=0.0334). The transfusion rates were significantly higher in the AT group than in the C group (p=0.0002). However, the outcome of endoscopic hemostasis was similar in the AT and C groups.
Patients with hemorrhagic peptic ulcers receiving antithrombotic/NSAID therapies were exposed to a greater risk of severe bleeding that required transfusion but were still treatable by endoscopy.
Peptic ulcer; Hemorrhagic ulcer; Antithrombotic therapy; Anti-inflammatory agents, non-steroidal; Endoscopic hemostasis
Weekly granulocyte/monocyte adsorption (GMA) to deplete elevated and activated leucocytes should serve as a non-pharmacological intervention to induce remission in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC). This trial assessed the efficacy of monthly GMA as a maintenance therapy to suppress UC relapse.
Thirty-three corticosteroid refractory patients with active UC received 10 weekly GMA sessions as a remission induction therapy. They were then randomized to receive one GMA session every 4 weeks (True, n=11), extracorporeal circulation without the GMA column every 4 weeks (Sham, n=11), or no additional intervention (Control, n=11). The primary endpoint was the rate of avoiding relapse (AR) over 48 weeks.
At week 48, the AR rates in the True, Sham, and Control groups were 40.0%, 9.1%, and 18.2%, respectively. All patients were steroid-free, but no statistically significant difference was seen among the three arms. However, in patients who could taper their prednisolone dose to <20 mg/day during the remission induction therapy, the AR in the True group was better than in the Sham (p<0.03) or Control (p<0.05) groups.
Monthly GMA may potentially prevent UC relapse in patients who have achieved remission through weekly GMA, especially in patients on <20 mg/day PSL at the start of the maintenance therapy.
Granulocyte monocyte apheresis; Inflammatory bowel diseases; Maintenance treatment; Randomized controlled trial; Ulcerative colitis