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Volume 79 - 2016 - Fasc.3 - Case series

Prognostic scores in acute pancreatitis : A review

Predicting the course of an attack of acute pancreatitis still represents a challenge for the physicians.Some early interventions such as endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography and sphincterotomy, admission to the intensive care unit, enteral feeding, and prophylactic antibiotics have been proven to decrease morbidity and mortality in patients of high-risk groups. However, acute pancreatitis has a potential of morbidity and mortality, and therefore early diagnosis and objective assessment of severity of the disease is fundamental. To date, many different prognostic scores have been applied to the initial management of acute pancreatitis for the evaluation of the severity of disease. However, each of the scoring systems has advantages and disadvantages. In this paper, we tried to summarize the prognostic scoring systems and their performances in assessing severity and prognosis of acute pancreatitis. (Acta gastroenterol. belg., 2016, 79, 337-347).


Does Helicobacter pylori eradication therapy trigger or protect against Crohn's disease?

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is involved in multiple gastrointestinal and extra-gastrointestinal disorders. This review focuses on possible link between H. pylori eradication and Crohn's disease (CD) which is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Fecal calprotectin and; to lesser extent; fecal lactoferrin are sensitive and specific markers for monitoring CD activity. Data about link between H. pylori eradication and CD are limited and inconclusive. The infection likely shifts equilibrium between T helper 1 (Th1) and Th2 immune responses to the Th2 pattern. In subjects genetically predisposed to CD (a Th1-related disease), H. pylori eradication increases Th1 proinflammatory cytokines causing development of CD. In contrast, clarithromycin and/or proton pump inhibitors that are used to eradicate H. pylori can suppress Th1 factors, and theoretically can protect against CD, but there are no data to support this supposition. This Th1/Th2 approach seems very simplistic. Another theory is that alterations in gut microbiota form "continuous antigenic stimulation" predisposing to IBD. H. pylori infection can inhibit such stimulation through activation of regulatory T cells, and thus eradication may predispose to CD. Probiotics weren't found useful in treatment of CD. The reported data about link between H. pylori eradication and CD are currently limited. Case reports, suggesting a positive association between both conditions, provide a very little evidence. On eradicating H. pylori in CD patients and/or patients with high risk for CD, patient counseling and follow-up in addition to measuring fecal calprotectin may help monitor CD activity. (Acta gastroenterol. belg., 2016, 79, 349-354).


Small bowel capsule endoscopy for the investigation of obscure gastrointestinal bleeding: When we should do it and what should we expect.

Obscure gastrointestinal bleeding is defined as bleeding of unknown origin that persists or recurs (i.e. recurrent or persistent iron deficiency anemia, fecal occult blood test positivity or visible bleeding) after a negative initial workout that necessarily includes gastroscopy and colonoscopy. In clinical practice, small bowel capsule endoscopy is recommended as a third stage examination in these patients, since it is a simple, safe, non-invasive and reliable test. To date there are three available small bowel capsule systems that have gained FDA approval and their diagnostic yield has shown to be superior to other diagnostic modalities for the investigation of the small bowel in patients with obscure gastrointestinal bleeding. The test should be performed as close to the bleeding episode as possible and the administration of a purgative bowel preparation before the administration of capsule endoscopy is recommended by the European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE). Issues that still remain to be solved are the definition of bleeding lesions and what really represents a positive finding, as well as the question of whether the outcome of patients with obscure gastrointestinal bleeding is altered after the test, i.e. to better define subgroups of patients that will mostly benefit from capsule endoscopy. In the future small bowel capsule endoscopy might be able to get guided, while tissue samples might be available as well. (Acta gastroenterol. belg., 2016, 79, 355-362).