Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: Gut and liver


Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is an aggressive cancer arising from epithelial cells of the bile duct. Most patients with CCA have an unresectable tumor at the time of diagnosis. In Western countries, the risk of CCA increases in patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis, whereas liver fluke infection appears to be the major risk factor for CCA in Asian countries. A diagnosis of liver fluke infection often relies on stool samples, including microscopic examination, polymerase chain reaction-based assays, and fluke antigen detection. Tests of serum, saliva and urine samples are also potentially diagnostic. The presence of liver fluke along with exogenous carcinogens magnifies the risk of CCA in people living in endemic areas. The “liver fluke-cholangiocarcinoma” carcinogenesis pathways consist of mechanical damage to the bile duct epithelium, immunopathologic and cellular reactions to the liver fluke’s antigens and excretory/secretory products, liver fluke-induced changes in the biliary tract microbiome and the effects of repeated treatment for liver fluke. A vaccine and novel biomarkers are needed for the primary and secondary prevention of CCA in endemic areas. Importantly, climate change exerts an effect on vector-borne parasitic diseases, and awareness of liver fluke should be enhanced in potentially migrated habitat areas.

Concepts: Immune system, Digestive system, Liver, Hepatology, Bile duct, Gallbladder, Cholangiocarcinoma, Primary sclerosing cholangitis


Groove pancreatitis (GP) is an uncommon disease involving the pancreaticoduodenal area. Possible pathogenesis includes obstructive pancreatitis in the duct of Santorini and impaired communication with the duct of Wirsung, minor papilla stenosis, and leakage causing inflammation. Limited data regarding endoscopic treatment have been published.

Concepts: Duodenum, Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, Endoscopy, Pancreatic duct, Accessory pancreatic duct, Johann Georg Wirsung, Minor duodenal papilla


Artificial intelligence is likely to perform several roles currently performed by humans, and the adoption of artificial intelligence-based medicine in gastroenterology practice is expected in the near future. Medical image-based diagnoses, such as pathology, radiology, and endoscopy, are expected to be the first in the medical field to be affected by artificial intelligence. A convolutional neural network, a kind of deep-learning method with multilayer perceptrons designed to use minimal preprocessing, was recently reported as being highly beneficial in the field of endoscopy, including esophagogastroduodenoscopy, colonoscopy, and capsule endoscopy. A convolutional neural network-based diagnostic program was challenged to recognize anatomical locations in esophagogastroduodenoscopy images, Helicobacter pylori infection, and gastric cancer for esophagogastroduodenoscopy; to detect and classify colorectal polyps; to recognize celiac disease and hookworm; and to perform small intestine motility characterization of capsule endoscopy images. Artificial intelligence is expected to help endoscopists provide a more accurate diagnosis by automatically detecting and classifying lesions; therefore, it is essential that endoscopists focus on this novel technology. In this review, we describe the effects of artificial intelligence on gastroenterology with a special focus on automatic diagnosis, based on endoscopic findings.


New therapeutic strategies in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have shifted from symptom control towards treat-totarget algorithms in order to optimize treatment results. The treatment of IBD has evolved with the development of tumor necrosis factor-α inhibitors beyond the conventional therapies. In spite of their long-term effectiveness, many patients do not respond to or cannot sustain treatment with these drugs, which have various side effects. Therefore, the development of new drugs targeting specific pathways in the pathogenesis of IBD has become necessary. Some novel biologics and small molecule drugs have shown potential in IBD clinical trials, providing safe and effective results. In addition, clinicians are now trying to target the dysbiotic microbiome of patients with IBD using fecal microbiota transplantation. New tools such as stem cells have also been developed. The available therapeutic options for IBD are expanding rapidly. In the next few years, physicians will face an unprecedented number of options when choosing the best treatments for patients with IBD. This review provides an overview of recent advances in IBD treatment options.


Ghrelin agonists are emerging prokinetic agents for treating gastroparesis. Although recent clinical trials have demonstrated their efficacy in patients with diabetic gastroparesis (DG), the impact of such agents on symptoms and gastric dysmotility remains unclear. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy and safety of ghrelin agonists in patients with DG.


The pathogenesis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), once thought to be largely psychogenic in origin, is now understood to be multifactorial. One of the reasons for this paradigm shift is the realization that gut dysbiosis, including small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), causes IBS symptoms. Between 4% and 78% of patients with IBS and 1% and 40% of controls have SIBO; such wide variations in prevalence might result from population differences, IBS diagnostic criteria, and, most importantly, methods to diagnose SIBO. Although quantitative jejunal aspirate culture is considered the gold standard for the diagnosis of SIBO, noninvasive hydrogen breath tests have been popular. Although the glucose hydrogen breath test is highly specific, its sensitivity is low; in contrast, the early-peak criteria in the lactulose hydrogen breath test are highly nonspecific. Female gender, older age, diarrhea-predominant IBS, bloating and flatulence, proton pump inhibitor and narcotic intake, and low hemoglobin are associated with SIBO among IBS patients. Several therapeutic trials targeting gut microbes using antibiotics and probiotics have further demonstrated that not all symptoms in patients with IBS originate in the brain but rather in the gut, providing support for the micro-organic basis of IBS. A recent proof-of-concept study showing the high frequency of symptom improvement in patients with IBS with SIBO further supports this hypothesis.

Concepts: Bacteria, Medical terms, Diagnosis, Constipation, Intestine, Gastroenterology, Irritable bowel syndrome, Flatulence


M2 pyruvate kinase (M2-PK) is an enzyme that is produced in undifferentiated and proliferating tissues. This study aims to evaluate the usefulness of the immunochromatographic M2 pyruvate kinase (iM2-PK) for the screening of colorectal cancer (CRC) and premalignant lesions.

Concepts: Cancer, Oncology, Adenosine triphosphate, Colorectal cancer, Constipation, Pyruvate kinase


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a multifactorial functional disorder with no clearly defined etiology or pathophysiology. Modern culture-independent techniques have improved the understanding of the gut microbiota’s composition and demonstrated that an altered gut microbiota profile might be found in at least some subgroups of IBS patients. Research on IBS from a microbial perspective is gaining momentum and advancing. This review will therefore highlight potential links between the gut microbiota and IBS by discussing the current knowledge of the gut microbiota; it will also illustrate bacterial-host interactions and how alterations to these interactions could exacerbate, induce or even help alleviate IBS.

Concepts: Immune system, Bacteria, Gut flora, Constipation, Irritable bowel syndrome, Flatulence, Knowledge


Colorectal cancer screening dates to the discovery of precancerous adenomatous tissue. Screening modalities and guidelines directed at prevention and early detection have evolved and resulted in a significant decrease in the prevalence and mortality of colorectal cancer via direct visualization or using specific markers. Despite continued efforts and an overall reduction in deaths attributed to colorectal cancer over the last 25 years, colorectal cancer remains one of the most common causes of malignancy-associated deaths. In attempt to further reduce the prevalence of colorectal cancer and associated deaths, continued improvement in screening quality and adherence remains key. Noninvasive screening modalities are actively being explored. Identification of specific genetic alterations in the adenoma-cancer sequence allow for the study and development of noninvasive screening modalities beyond guaiac-based fecal occult blood testing which target specific alterations or a panel of alterations. The stool DNA test is the first noninvasive screening tool that targets both human hemoglobin and specific genetic alterations. In this review we discuss stool DNA and other commercially available noninvasive colorectal cancer screening modalities in addition to other targets which previously have been or are currently under study.

Concepts: DNA, Genetics, Cancer, Oncology, Blood, Colorectal cancer, Feces, Fecal occult blood


Because Methanobrevibacter smithii produces methane, delaying gut transit, we evaluated M. smithii loads in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients and healthy controls (HC).

Concepts: Constipation, Irritable bowel syndrome, Flatulence