The latest medical research on Gastroenterology

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about gastroenterology gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Hepatic fibroblast growth factor 21 is involved in mediating functions of liraglutide in mice with dietary challenge.


Several studies have shown that expression of hepatic fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) can be stimulated by GLP-1-based diabetes drugs. As GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R) is unlikely expressed in hepatocytes, we aimed to compare such stimulation in mice and in mouse-hepatocytes; determine the involvement of GLP-1R, and clarify whether FGF21 mediates certain functions of the GLP-1R agonist liraglutide.

Liver FGF21 expression was assessed in mice with daily liraglutide injection for 3 days, or in mouse primary hepatocytes (MPH) with direct liraglutide treatment. Effects of liraglutide on metabolic improvement and FGF21 expression were then assessed in high fat diet (HFD)-fed mice, in comparison with the DPP-4 inhibitor sitagliptin. Animal studies were also performed in Glp1r-/- mice and hepatic FGF21 knockout (lFgf21-KO) mice. In wild-type mice with RNA-seq and qRT-PCR, we observed liraglutide-stimulated hepatic Fgf21 expression, and the lack of Glp1r expression in mouse liver. In MPH, liraglutide did not stimulate Fgf21. In HFD-induced obese mice, liraglutide or sitagliptin treatment reduced plasma triglyceride levels, while their effect on reducing body-weight gain was different. Importantly, increased hepatic FGF21 expression was observed in liraglutide-treated but not sitagliptin-treated mice. In HFD-fed Glp1r-/- mice, liraglutide showed no beneficial effects and could not stimulate Fgf21 expression. In lFgf21-KO mice on dietary challenge, body-weight gain attenuation and lipid homeostatic effects of liraglutide was lost or significantly reduced.

We suggest that liraglutide-stimulated hepatic Fgf21 expression may require GLP-1R expressed in extra-hepatic organs. Importantly, we revealed that hepatic FGF21 is required for liraglutide to lower body weight and improve hepatic lipid homeostasis. These observations advanced our mechanistic understanding on function of GLP-1-based drugs in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Tumor DDR1 deficiency reduces liver metastasis by colon carcinoma and impairs stromal reaction.

Am J Physiol

Colorectal cancer (CRC) colonization of the liver and its further metastatic growth are the result of complex interaction between the tumor cell, t...

Complications Following Robotic Hiatal Hernia Repair Are Higher Compared to Laparoscopy.

Gastrointestinal Surgery

The use of robotic platforms in surgery is becoming increasingly common in both practice and residency training. In this study, we compared the perioperative outcomes between robotic platforms and traditional laparoscopy in paraesophageal hernia repair.

A retrospective population-based analysis was performed using the National Inpatient Sample for the period of 2010-2015. Adult patients (≥18 years old) who underwent laparoscopic or robotic paraesophageal hernia repairs were included. Weighted multivariable random intercept linear and logistic regression models were used to assess the effects of robotic surgery on patient outcomes.

A total of 168,329 patients were included in the study. The overall adjusted rate of complications was significantly higher in patients who underwent robotic paraesophageal hernia (PEH) repair compared to laparoscopic PEH OR (95% CI) = 1.17 (1.07, 1.27). Specifically, respiratory failure OR (95% CI) = 1.68 (1.37, 2.05) and esophageal perforation OR (95% CI) = 2.19 (1.42, 3.93) were higher in robotic PEH patients. A subset analysis was performed looking at high-volume centers (>20 operations per year), and, although the risk of complications was lower in the high volume centers compared to intermediate volume centers, complication rates were still significantly higher in the robotic surgery group compared to laparoscopic. Overall charges per surgery were significantly higher in the robotic group.

Robotic PEH repair is associated with significantly more complications compared to laparoscopic paraesophageal hernia repair even in high-volume centers.

Advances in immunotherapy for hepatocellular carcinoma.

Nat Rev Gastroenterol

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a prevalent disease with a progression that is modulated by the immune system. Systemic therapy is used in the ad...

Low prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux symptoms in vegetarians.

Indian Journal of Gastroenterology

Dietary modification could reduce the risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Circumstantial evidence suggests that gastroesophageal reflux is less prevalent in people adhering to a vegetarian diet. We aimed to study the relationship between vegetarianism and the occurrence of gastroesophageal reflux symptoms (GERS).

This study compares the prevalence of GERS in vegetarians with non-vegetarian controls from the general population. Frequency and severity of GERS (heartburn and/or acid regurgitation) were assessed with a self-administrated questionnaire.

Within 1 year, any GERS were experienced by 19 of 100 (19%) vegetarians and by 98 of 250 (39.2%) non-vegetarian controls (p < 0.001). Frequent GERS, defined as GERS on at least 1 day per week, were noted in 3% of vegetarians and in 12.8% of controls (p = 0.006). Reflux symptoms were significantly less severe in vegetarians than in non-vegetarians (p < 0.001). According to multivariable analysis, independent predictors of GERS included male sex, current smoking, BMI ≥ 25 (odds ratio [OR] = 1.94; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.14-3.31), and a non-vegetarian diet (OR = 2.19; 95% CI, 1.20-3.97); non-vegetarian diet independently predicted frequent GERS (OR 4.03; 95% CI, 1.17-13.9). An increased risk of GERS (OR = 2.17; 95% CI, 1.09-4.29) and frequent GERS (OR 4.00; 95% CI, 1.13-14.18) in non-vegetarians were also demonstrated by logistic regression of matched data. In non-vegetarians, the risk of reflux symptoms was not significantly related to meat intake.

The prevalence and severity of GERS are lower in vegetarians than in non-vegetarians from the general population. The results are in line with a mitigating effect of vegetarianism on GERS. Data must be interpreted with caution given the retrospective study design and the small sample size.

The Discordance of Clinical and Pathologic Staging in Locally Advanced Gastric Adenocarcinoma.

Gastrointestinal Surgery

Clinical staging guides decisions about optimal treatment sequence in patients with gastric cancer, although the preoperative accuracy is not strongly established. This study investigates concordance of clinical and pathologic stage as well as its impact on the survival of patients with gastric adenocarcinoma.

Patients with clinical stage T2-4, N0, M0 gastric adenocarcinoma who underwent surgery without neoadjuvant therapy were identified from the National Cancer Database (2010-2015). The primary outcome was up-staging, defined as cT < pT, pN1-3, and/or pM1 (AJCC 7th edition). Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to predict up-staging. Survival analysis was performed using the Kaplan-Meier method.

In total, 2254 patients were identified. cTNM staging was discordant with pTNM staging in 65.6% of cases, with 50.4% up-staged and 15.2% down-staged. On multivariable logistic regression, younger age (OR 0.991, 95% CI 0.984-0.999, p=0.0188), male sex (versus female; OR 1.392, 95% CI 1.158-1.673, p=0.0004), poor or undifferentiated tumor grade (versus well differentiated or moderately differentiated; OR 2.399, 95% CI 1.987-2.896; p<0.0001), positive margin status (versus negative; OR 4.575, 95% CI 3.360-6.230; p<0.0001), and days from diagnosis to surgery (15-32 days versus ≤ 14 days; OR 1.411, 95% CI 1.098-1.814, p=0.0072) were predictive of up-staging. Patients who were up-staged had a decreased survival compared to patients who were accurately staged (median survival 27.9 months versus 67.6 months; log-rank p<0.0001).

This study found a substantial discordance between clinical and pathologic staging of resectable locally advanced gastric adenocarcinoma. These data support that patients may have more advanced disease at presentation than reflected in clinical staging and may benefit from improved diagnostic modalities and neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Clinical Outcomes of Endoscopic Treatment for Type 1 Gastric Neuroendocrine Tumor.

Gastrointestinal Surgery

Although the rate of early detection and endoscopic treatment of gastric neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) is steadily increasing, there are insufficient studies on the long-term outcomes of endoscopic treatment. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the clinical features and long-term outcomes of endoscopic treatment for type 1 gastric NETs.

Subjects who underwent endoscopic treatment for gastric NETs between March 1997 and December 2015 were included. Clinical features and endoscopic treatment outcomes were retrospectively investigated by reviewing medical records.

In total, 125 subjects underwent endoscopic treatment including forceps biopsy (n = 21), argon plasma coagulation (n = 1), endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR, n = 62), and endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD, n = 41). In total, 103 patients with 114 lesions, who underwent EMR or ESD, were analyzed to evaluate endoscopic and oncologic outcomes. The rates of en bloc resection in the EMR and ESD groups were 91.5% and 97.7%, respectively. Complete resection rates were significantly higher in the ESD group than in the EMR group; it was also higher in < 1-cm small-sized lesions than in 1-2-cm large-sized lesions. Adverse events were similar between the two groups. During a median follow-up period of 63 months, local recurrence rates were 6.5% and 2.4% in the EMR and ESD groups, respectively, and the disease-free survival rate did not differ significantly between the groups.

Endoscopic treatment for type 1 gastric NETs less than 2 cm in diameter and confined to mucosal and submucosal layers could be an effective and safe treatment strategy based on the favorable long-term outcome.

Impairment of Activities of Daily Living is an Independent Risk Factor for Recurrence and Mortality Following Curative Resection of Stage I-III Colorectal Cancer.

Gastrointestinal Surgery

With aging of the population, the number of colorectal cancer patients with impairment of activities of daily living (ADLs) has increased. The Barthel index is a validated tool for assessing functional levels of ADLs. In this retrospective study, we aimed to examine associations of Barthel index scores with recurrence and mortality after curative resection of colorectal cancer.

We retrospectively analyzed data of 815 consecutive patients who had undergone curative resection of stage I-III colorectal adenocarcinoma between January 2009 and December 2017. Preoperative functional levels of ADLs were assessed prospectively using the Barthel index (range, 0 to 100; higher scores indicate greater independence). Recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) were compared according to Barthel index scores. The Cox proportional hazards model was used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs), controlling for potential confounders.

Of the 815 patients, Barthel index scores were 40 or lower in 129 (16%), 41-85 in 110 (13%), and 86 or more in 576 (71%). In multivariable analyses adjusting for potential confounders including age and disease stage, scores of 85 or lower on the Barthel index were independently associated with shorter RFS (multivariable HR: 1.74, 95% confidence interval: 1.28-2.37, P<0.001) and OS (multivariable HR: 2.10, 95% confidence interval: 1.45-3.04, P<0.001).

Lower scores on the Barthel index are associated with shorter RFS and OS following resection of nonmetastatic colorectal cancer. Further studies are needed to establish treatment strategies for colorectal cancer patients with poor functional capacity.

Risk Factors for 30-Day Unplanned Readmission After Hepatectomy: Analysis of 438 Pediatric Patients from the ACS-NSQIP-P Database.

Gastrointestinal Surgery

Hepatic resections are uncommon in children. Most studies reporting complications of these procedures and risk factors associated with unplanned readmissions are limited to retrospective data from single centers. We investigated risk factors for 30-day unplanned readmission after hepatectomy in children using the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement-Pediatric database.

The database was queried for patients aged 0-18 years who underwent hepatectomy for the treatment of liver lesions from 2012 to 2018. Chi-squared tests were performed to evaluate for potential risk factors for unplanned readmissions. A multivariate regression analysis was performed to identify independent predictors for unplanned 30-day readmissions.

Among 438 children undergoing hepatectomy, 64 (14.6%) had unplanned readmissions. The median age of the hepatectomy cohort was 1 year (0-17); 55.5% were male. Patients readmitted had significantly higher rates of esophageal/gastric/intestinal disease (26.56% vs. 14.97%; p=0.022), current cancer (85.94% vs. 75.67%; p=0.012), and enteral and parenteral nutritional support (31.25% vs. 17.65%; p=0.011). Readmitted patients had significantly higher rates of perioperative blood transfusion (67.19% vs. 52.41%; p=0.028), organ/space surgical site infection (10.94% vs. 1.07%; p<.001), sepsis (15.63% vs. 3.74%; p<.001), and total parenteral nutrition at discharge (9.09% vs. 2.66%; p=0.041). Organ/space surgical site infection was an independent risk factor for unplanned readmission (OR=9.598, CI [2.070-44.513], p=0.004) by multivariable analysis.

Unplanned readmissions after liver resection are frequent in pediatric patients. Organ/space surgical site infections may identify patients at increased risk for unplanned readmission. Strategies to reduce these complications may decrease morbidity and costs associated with unplanned readmissions.

Outcomes of Nonoperative Treatment for Gastroduodenal Ulcer Perforation: a Nationwide Study of 14,918 Inpatients in Japan.

Gastrointestinal Surgery

Gastroduodenal ulcer perforation is a common abdominal emergency that may be curable without surgical repair in non-elderly patients with localized and stable symptoms. However, the outcomes of nonoperative approaches have rarely been described.

Using a Japanese national inpatient database, we identified 14,918 patients with gastroduodenal ulcer perforation who were hospitalized and received nonoperative treatment from July 2010 to March 2017. We categorized these patients into three groups according to age: 18 to 64 years (young group, n=8407), 65 to 74 years (old group, n=2616), and ≥75 years (old-old group, n=3895). We investigated the characteristics, treatments, and outcomes in each group.

Most of the patients were men (71%), and the median patient age was 62 years (interquartile range, 47-75 years). The old and old-old groups had more comorbidities than the young group. Whereas most patients were administered proton pump inhibitors and various antibiotics (96% and 90%, respectively), only 58% of patients underwent gastric tube placement. Surgical repair >3 days after admission was performed in 7.1% of all patients (6.3% vs. 7.9% vs. 5.5%, P<0.001). The old and old-old groups showed higher mortality (1.4% vs. 8.3% vs. 18%, P<0.001) and morbidity (6.6% vs. 15% vs. 17%, P<0.001) than the young group. The median length of stay was almost 2 weeks (13 vs. 17 vs. 20 days, P<0.001).

Unlike previous studies, many patients aged >65 years received nonoperative treatment in this nationwide cohort. Our findings provide useful information for clinicians and patients hospitalized for gastric ulcer perforation.

Efficacy of polyethylene glycol 3350 as compared to lactulose in treatment of ROME IV criteria-defined pediatric functional constipation: A randomized controlled trial.

Indian Journal of Gastroenterology

Functional constipation is a common childhood problem, with a prevalence of approximately 3% worldwide. The aim of the study was to compare the efficacy of polyethylene glycol (PEG) 3350 and lactulose in the treatment of pediatric functional constipation.

A total of 100 subjects with functional constipation were enrolled and centrally randomized to receive PEG 3350 (0.7-1.5 mg/kg/day) or lactulose (0.7-2.0 g/kg/day).

There was a significant increase in median (min, max) stool frequency within 1 week in the PEG 3350 group as compared to the lactulose group (1 [0, 3] to 8 [3, 39] vs. 1 [0, 3] to 7 [1, 17]) (p-value < 0.01). The trend was maintained at week 2, week 3 (p-value < 0.01), and week 4 (p-value = 0.05) with the PEG 3350 group reporting higher weekly median stool frequency than the lactulose group. The PEG group reported significant reduction in painful bowel movements from 68.8% subjects at baseline to 43.8% at the end of first week, whereas the lactulose group reported an increase from 48.9% to 73.3% (p-value = 0.05). Other parameters of constipation, i.e. straining, large diameter stool, and large fecal mass as reported subjectively by parents, significantly decreased from baseline to the end of the study in the PEG 3350 arm compared to those in the lactulose arm. At the end of week 4, there was a statistically significant reduction in all the ROME IV-defined criteria between the two groups.

This study proved that the PEG 3350 treatment group had early symptom relief and significant improvement compared to the lactulose group in pediatric functional constipation.

Clinical Trials Registry India (CTRI/2018/01/011061).

Biological nanotherapeutics for liver disease.


Extracellular vesicles (EV) are a heterogeneous group of biological nano-sized vesicles that are released from cells and contribute to intercellula...