Investigators explore potential role of UV light exposure and vitamin D in Crohn's therapy New research points to a potential role for UV light exposure and vitamin D levels in chronic digestive conditions; Crohn's disease, a serious inflammatory condition in the small intestine; and ulcerative colitis (UC), which similarly affects the colon. In two separate studies presented at the American College of Gastroenterology's 76th Annual Scientific Meeting, a group of investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital probed the connection between geography, UV exposure and incidence of inflammatory bowel disease while another group from Weill Cornell Medical Center looked at different levels of supplementation with Vitamin D to determine impact on severity of Crohn's disease. "Geographic Variations and Risk of Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis" Results from two large prospective studies among large cohorts of nurses enrolled in the U.
Diagnostic Tool Distinguishes Intestinal Inflammation From Fibrosis, Could Aid Efficient, Timely Treatment For Crohn's Disease
It's difficult for doctors to tell whether a patient with Crohn's disease has intestinal fibrosis, which requires surgery, or inflammation, which can be treated with medicine. A new imaging method might make that task easier, according to a U-M-led study. Ultrasound elasticity imaging, or UEI, could allow doctors to noninvasively make the distinction between inflammation and fibrosis, allowing patients to receive more appropriate and timely care. The study was published in the September edition of Gastroenterology. Crohn's disease patients suffer from chronic inflammation of the intestines, which over time can cause scar tissue to form, resulting in intestinal fibrosis. Patients with intestinal inflammation usually are treated with medicines that suppress their immune system, while patients with fibrosis are treated surgically.
Comparison Between Narrow Band Imaging And Chromoendoscopy For The Detection Of Dysplasia In IBD Patients
A new study from Spain finds that narrow band imaging appears to be a less time-consuming and equally effective alternative to chromoendoscopy for the detection of dysplasia (abnormal growths) in patients with long-standing inflammatory bowel disease. However, this study demonstrated higher miss rates for detection of lesions by narrow band imaging as compared with chromoendoscopy, and the authors concluded that narrow band imaging cannot be recommended as the standard technique. The study appears in the October issue of GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE). Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is the general name for diseases that cause inflammation in the small intestine and colon, which include Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
After demonstrating that light accurately detected pre-cancerous cells in the lining of the esophagus, Duke University bioengineers turned their technology to the colon and have achieved similar results in a series of preliminary experiments. This technology could be a non-invasive way for physicians to detect abnormal cells, or dysplasia, which have the potential of turning cancerous. These cells are in the epithelium, or lining, of various tissues, including the esophagus and colon. Current biopsy techniques require physicians to take many random tissue samples, and for some disorders of the colon, these procedures can be disfiguring and life-changing. Instead of taking tissue samples, the new system would aim short bursts of light from the tip of an endoscope at locations suspected of having disease.
Crohn disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are the two most common forms of inflammatory bowel disease, affecting approximately 1 million people in the US. The severity of the symptoms and the frequency with which they recur varies widely among patients. Kenneth Smith and colleagues, at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, have now identified a gene expression profile that can divide patients with CD and UC into two otherwise undistinguishable subgroups - those with a high incidence of treatment-nonresponsive, frequently relapsing, or chronically active disease and those with mild disease. As discussed by the authors and, in an accompanying commentary, Laurence Turka, Simon Robson, and David Friedman, these data should allow physicians to identify those patients that require aggressive therapies such as potent immune system-suppressing drugs and prevent those that do not need such drugs from being exposed to their rare but potentially life-threatening side effects.