At Digestive Diseases Week (DDW; May 18?21, 2003; Orlando, Fla), new information was provided on various issues in clinical gastroenterology including:
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): A study, conducted by Vega KJ and Jamal MM, showed that non-Hispanic whites and African Americans have similar distributions of GERD manifestations, such as reflux esophagitis grade and frequency of complications caused by GERD, but that African Americans have a lower incidence of Barrett?s esophagus. Another study suggested that small intestinal bacterial overgrowth might play a role in the pathogenesis of GERD.
Functional bowel disorders: One study, conducted by Fedorak RN, et al, demonstrated that probiotics such as VSL-3 may be effective in the treatment of patients with colitis and may have a role as adjunct therapy in the treatment of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Another study, conducted by Naliboff BD, et al, showed that patterns of brain activation in patients with IBS are different from those in control patients, which may represent a difference in pain perception between these 2 groups.
(These findings were published in the April 2003 Supplement to Gastroenterology.)