All Helicobacters are urease-positive, able to convert aminoacids and urea into ammonia to neutralize stomach acid, andhighly mobile – characteristics that help them invade the mucosallayer to evade the body’s immune response. Helicobacter pylori(H. pylori) is linked to peptic ulcer disease, chronic gastritis,gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma, andearly gastric cancer. The infection rate of H. pylori is over 80% indeveloping countries and 20–50% in industrialized nations, withover 4.4 billion people testing positive for the bacteria in 2015.1,2
There is an increasing number of studies that shed light on the importance of our gut microbiota. Probiotics are live microorganisms that confer health benefits on the host when administered in adequate amounts. With new data emerging about their proposed benefits in maintaining intestinal health, probiotics continue to gain popularity amongst consumers.
Recently, randomized controlled trials and guidelines have brought to light the benefits of extending the duration of H. pylori treatment. Below are summaries of guidelines and trials examining the regimens used to manage the infection.
At the recent Annual Scientific Congress of the Malaysian Society of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (GUT 2016), held at Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, an expert from Hong Kong spoke on the role of direct-acting antivirals as well as pan-genotypic agents that are set to revolutionize hepatitis C treatment.
Sorafenib appears to be well-tolerated in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), with the subgroup of Child-Pugh B patients having a shorter treatment duration and higher serious adverse event (SAE) incidence, according to the results of a subgroup analysis of GIDEON*.
An expert panel meeting on hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) was recently convened in Kuala Lumpur with the aim of discussing management practices in different hospital settings. Chaired by Professor Sanjiv Mahadeva, consultant gastroenterologist, University Malaya Medical Centre, the meeting saw local and regional experts share HRS cases they have encountered in their practice.
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The PD-1* inhibitor nivolumab showed significant survival benefit and a favourable safety profile than taxane chemotherapy in patients with unresectable advanced or recurrent oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) refractory or intolerant to previous fluoropyrimidine- and platinum-based chemotherapy, according to the findings of ATTRACTION-3** presented at ESMO 2019.
Early enteral nutrition (EEN) speeds up the recovery of gastrointestinal function after laparoscopic common bile duct exploration (LCBDE), according to a study. However, EEN also increases complications such as diarrhoea and abdominal distension.
A third of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) patients with cirrhosis have been readmitted in a span of 30 days primarily due to recurrent CDI, a recent study has found. In addition, there is a high rate of mortality linked to CDI in patients with cirrhosis, in which a poor prognosis is predicted by decompensation and 30-day readmission.