Commentary

Letter from the Editor: Packed with science


 

This month’s issue is packed with important science – nice to get back to medicine and not focus on politics. On page one, we highlight important new clinical guidance on the use of thiopurines in inflammatory bowel disease. This clinical practice update has some very specific and clear recommendations about thiopurines, especially in combination with biologic agents. As any clinician knowns, treatment of IBD has become complex from both a biologic standpoint and because we now recognize the importance of social determinants of health in our management of chronic diseases. We have seen an enormous outpouring of work that helps gastroenterologists develop multidisciplinary “homes” for IBD patients. These programs are now becoming best practice standards. Such approaches are practical for both academic and community GI practices. Best practice for our IBD patients now involves following clinical guidelines, understanding the impact of IBD on patients’ social and behavioral health and the incorporation of support services (or referral), and outcomes measurement. This clinical practice update will help us enhance our medical therapy for patients with both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Dr. John I. Allen

Other stories include a review of the new AGA clinical practice update on endoscopic submucosal dissection for early stage cancers with important information about technique, indications, and management of complications. Questions about our approach to prevention of GI bleeding for patients in the ICU are raised by a new multicentered trial of PPI use in over 3,500 patients. Essentially, PPI prophylaxis should be reserved for seriously ill patients at high risk for bleeding – prophylaxis may not be needed in other ICU patients. Finally, another study does not support use of probiotics (at least in the current formulation) in children with gastroenteritis.

I hope you enjoy the issue and that you had a wonderful year’s end. We look forward to more excitement in 2019.

John I. Allen, MD, MBA, AGAF
Editor in Chief

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