Home » AGEB Journal » Issues » Volume 84 » Fasc.3 - Reviews

Volume 84 - 2021 - Fasc.3 - Reviews

The role of neuromodulation in chronic functional constipation: a systematic review

Background: Chronic functional constipation is a highly prevalent disorder in which, when conservative measures fail to relieve symptoms, surgical interventions are sometimes indicated. In recent years, neuromodulation for the treatment of functional constipation has gained interest but its role and effectiveness are still unclear. The purpose of this review is to provide a systematic overview on the current literature on the different modalities of neurostimulation and their effect on chronic functional constipation in adults as reported in the literature. Methods: A search in the literature for articles concerning the effect of different types of neuromodulation on constipation was performed in PubMed using extensive search terms for the different modalities of neuromodulation. Studies and trials were checked for eligibility. For all types of neuromodulation together, 27 articles were included. Results: 17 studies were included on SNM (sacral nerve modulation). Although multiple studies show positive results on the effect of SNM in constipation, double-blind crossover RCT’s (randomised controlled trials) showed no significant effect. 3 studies were included for tSNS (transcutaneous sacral nerve stimulation), 2 for PTNS (percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation) and 2 for TTNS (transcutaneous tibial nerve stimulation). Studies and trials on these modalities of neuromodulation reported ambiguous results on statistical significance of the effect. For transcutaneous IFC (interferential current therapy) 2 studies were included, which both reported a statistically significant effect on all outcomes. Conclusion: The beneficial effect of neuromodulation in chronic functional constipation remains questionable. However, neuro-modulation might be worth considering in patients refractory to treatment before turning to more invasive measures. Future research should shed more light on the effects of neuromodulation in constipation.


Triggers of benign recurrent intrahepatic cholestasis and its pathophysiology: a review of literature

Benign recurrent intrahepatic cholestasis (BRIC) is a rare genetic disorder that is characterized by episodes of cholestasis followed by complete resolution. The episodic nature of BRIC raises concerns about its possible trigger factors. Indeed, case reports of this orphan disease have associated BRIC to some triggers. In the absence of any reviews, we reviewed BRIC trigger factors and its pathophysiology. The study consisted of a systematic search for case reports using PubMed. Articles describing a clear case of BRIC associated with a trigger were included resulting in 22 articles that describe 35 patients. Infection was responsible for 54.3% of triggered episodes, followed by hormonal, drugs, and miscellaneous causes reporting as 30%, 10%, and 5.7% respectively. Females predominated with 62.9%. The longest episode ranged between 3 months to 2 years with a mean of 32.37 weeks. The mean age of the first episode was 14.28 ranging between 3 months to 48 years. Winter and autumn were the major seasons during which episodes happened. Hence, BRIC is potentially triggered by infection, which is most commonly a viral infection, hormonal disturbances as seen in oral contraceptive pills and pregnancy state, and less commonly by certain drugs and other causes. The appearance of cholestasis during the first two trimesters of pregnancy compared to intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy could help to differentiate between the two conditions. The possible mechanism of BRIC induction implicates a role of BSEP and ATP8B1. While estrogen, drugs, and cytokines are known to affect BSEP, less is known about their action on ATP8B1.


Diagnostic and prognostic scoring systems for autoimmune hepatitis: a review

Introduction: Auto-immune hepatitis (AIH) is a rare condition which primarily affects young women. Several diagnostic scoring systems exist based on clinical, biochemical, immunologic and histologic characteristics of AIH. Additionally, prognostic parameters can be identified. The purpose of this literature review is to compare the clinical value, strengths and limitations of these diagnostic and prognostic scoring systems. Methods: A literature search was performed in two databases and selected based on diagnostic and prognostic criteria. Only studies concerning AIH in adults were included. Results: The backbone of scoring systems remains the revised AIH criteria published in 1999 and the simplified from 2008. The revised system shows a higher sensitivity, lower specificity and lower diagnostic accuracy compared to the simplified. Limitations to these scoring systems include limited diagnostic accuracy in acute or fulminant liver failure, insufficient inclusion of atypical auto-antibodies and lacking diagnostic power in presence of overlap syndromes. Concerning these overlap syndromes, the Paris criteria show a higher diagnostic accuracy compared to the scoring systems for AIH. Presently, no clinical prognostic scoring systems are available. However, a first system based on response to treatment accurately predicts long-term survival in AIH. Conclusion: Diagnostic scoring systems are useful in diagnosing AIH and have complementary value. However, they are no substitute for the gold standard of appropriate clinical assessment and are mostly useful in defining cohorts for research purposes. An evolution towards a more dynamic scoring system, using prognostic parameters and the progression of typical features, seems more valuable than the current diagnostic systems.