GastroHep news

Volume 3, Issue 2

Top news

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and Elsevier International Open Access Week

Early in October the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine went to James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo “for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.” To honor their work, Elsevier decided to give free access:
Read a selection of their research papers

Open Science

Open access policies have been on the agenda with the International Open Access Week that took place this year October 22-28, bringing together funders, institutions, policy-makers and publishers with the aim to discuss and develop a common global approach and move forward together.

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View Articles published in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Focal cryoballoon versus radiofrequency ablation of dysplastic Barrett’s esophagus: impact on treatment response and postprocedural pain

Radiofrequency ablation is safe and effective for eradicating Barrett’s esophagus but is associated with significant postprocedural pain. Alternatively, balloon-based focal cryoablation has recently been developed, which preserves the extracellular matrix and might therefore be less painful. Although data are still limited, uncontrolled studies suggest comparable safety and efficacy to radiofrequency ablation in eradicating limited Barrett’s esophagus. Sanne N. van Munster and colleagues aimed to compare efficacy and tolerability between balloon-based focal cryoablation and radiofrequency ablation for treatment of Barrett’s esophagus. Read about their results here.

Sanne van Munster et al compared efficacy and tolerability between focal cryoablation and RFA for eradicating Barrett’s esophagus.png
Sanne van Munster et al compared efficacy and tolerability between focal cryoablation and RFA for eradicating Barrett’s esophagus

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Compromised nutritional status in patients with end-stage liver disease

Liver is the largest and most important organ for the metabolism control. It participates in lipid and glucose metabolism through lipogenesis, fatty acid oxidation, gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis. Maintenance of health is largely due to an appropriate diet and nutrients that reach the general blood circulation through the liver. Patients with end-stage liver disease (ESLD) have a compromised nutritional status because of the liver crucial role in regulating metabolic homeostasis and energy balance. This review provides an update on malnutrition status linked to epigenetics and the potential benefit of some probiotics on the management of ESLD patients. In support of this view and to reveal the constant and growing interest in this field, some clinical trials are reported.

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Efficacy of l-Ornithine l-Aspartate for the Treatment of Hepatic Encephalopathy and Hyperammonemia in Cirrhosis: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

L-Ornithine L-Aspartate (LOLA) is a mixture of two endogenous amino acids with the capacity to fix ammonia in the form of urea and/or glutamine. Its' efficacy for the treatment of Hepatic Encephalopathy (HE) remains the subject of debate. This Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials quantitatively analyzed the efficacy of LOLA in patients with cirrhosis and HE. Efficacy was defined as the extent of lowering of blood ammonia and improvement of mental state assessed in clinically overt HE (OHE) by West Haven criteria or psychometric testing for assessment of Minimal HE (MHE). Ten RCTs (884 patients) were included. Regression analysis showed no evidence of publication bias or other small study effects. Comparison with placebo/no intervention controls revealed that LOLA was significantly more effective for improvement of mental state in all types of HE, OHE, test for overall effect, MHE and for lowering of blood ammonia. Oral LOLA appeared particularly effective for the treatment of MHE. LOLA appears to improve mental state and lower ammonia in patients with HE or MHE.

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A High-Throughput Organoid Microinjection Platform to Study Gastrointestinal Microbiota and Luminal Physiology

A high-throughput organoid microinjection platform was developed to study gastrointestinal physiology and the microbiome. Monitoring and quantification of injected microbes and other cargos was achieved by automated imaging. Human fecal microbiota including highly oxygen-sensitive anaerobic taxa were transplanted into the organoid lumen and maintained over time in stable monocultures or microbial communities.

View Articles published in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Mizagliflozin for functional constipation

Constipation affects around 15% of the population in western countries and is associated with decreased quality of life and loss of productivity. Inhibition of the sodium-glucose contransporter 1 (SGLT1) in the small intestine could suppress water absorption, and thereby soften stools and improve constipation. In a randomised phase 2 trial, Shin Fukudo and colleagues examine the safety and efficacy of a novel SGLT1 inhibitor, mizagliflozin, for individuals with Rome III functional constipation or constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome.

View Articles published in Clinics and Research in Hepatology and Gastroenterology

Biliary epithelium: A neuroendocrine compartment in cholestatic liver disease

Hepatic fibrosis is characterized by abnormal accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) that can lead to ductopenia, cirrhosis, and even malignant transformation. In this review, cholestatic liver diseases characterized by extensive biliary fibrosis such as primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), polycystic liver disease (PLD), and MDR2−/− and BDL mouse models is examined. Following biliary injury, cholangiocytes, the epithelial cells that line the bile ducts, become reactive and adopt a neuroendocrine phenotype in which they secrete and respond to neurohormones and neuropeptides in an autocrine and paracrine fashion. This review summarizes how cholangiocytes interact with their surrounding environment, with particular focus on how autonomic and sensory regulation affects fibrotic pathophysiology.

Special item: Therapeutics Highlights from ILC 2018, the EASL annual congress
In this commentary the author focuses on studies in NASH, viral hepatitis and cholestatic liver diseases presented at the EASL annual congress.

Special issues

Techniques in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

The latest issue in Techniques in GI Endoscopy provides a comprehensive overview on esophageal motility disorders guest edited by two esophageal experts.  The issue discusses the pathogenesis of motility disorders and focuses on new technologies that aid in the diagnosis of such diseases including the role of endoscopic ultrasound and functional luminal imaging.  The issue provides an endoscopic atlas for esophageal motility disorders – something that cannot be readily found elsewhere and finishes with the current status of treatment options including injection therapy, endoscopic dilation, and per-oral endoscopic myotomy (POEM).

View Articles published in Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Special issue on Organoids and Engineered Organ Systems published in CMGH

Innovative tools, applications, and discoveries that build on advances in stem cells and devices to advance understanding of health and disease throughout the gastrointestinal tract, liver and pancreas are featured in this special issue, accompanied by insightful commentaries and reviews from leaders within these fields.

Journal news

View Articles published in VideoGIE

VideoGIE joins PubMed Central!

VideoGIE is excited to announce its acceptance into PubMed Central! All previously published articles have been retroactively indexed.  VideoGIE publishes original, single-blinded peer-reviewed video case reports and case series of endoscopic procedures used in the study, diagnosis, and treatment of digestive diseases as well as videos demonstrating endoscopic tools and techniques. Learn more about VideoGIE at or submit your article today at

jhep reports

New Journal Launch: JHEP Reports Coming in 2019

We are delighted to announce that JHEP Reports will launch in 2019. This is the European Association for the Study of the Liver’s (EASL) first Open Access journal and will publish alongside the Journal of Hepatology.  JHEP Reports will publish original papers, reviews, and letters to the Editor concerned with basic, translation and clinical research in the field of hepatology. The aim is for JHEP Reports to be an innovative journal publishing global issues in hepatology, with specific focus on clinical trials, novel diagnostics, precision medicine and therapeutics, cellular and molecular research, metabolism, cancer, microbiome, systems biology, epidemiology, and biotechnology advances and devices.

New co-editors in 2019

Professor Suresh Chari (Mayo Clinic) and Professor Miklos Sahin-Toth (Boston University) have been appointed as the new co-editors for Pancreatology, taking over from Professor Minoti Apte beginning January 2019.

New Website:
Please bookmark the new Pancreatology website: The previous web address ( is no longer active.

New Impact Factor!

We are pleased to highlight the newest impact factor for the Journal of Hepatology: 15.040!

Submit your research

We invite you to submit your next article to one of these Elsevier journals.

HBPD - Hepatobiliary & Pancreatic Diseases International

The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology