This review highlights areas of clinical research in gastroenterology and hepatology that were published during the last year and were summarized during the most recent American Gastroenterological Association Plenary Session. The topics include a comparison of the risk of recurrent bleeding in patients taking clopidogrel versus aspirin plus a proton pump inhibitor, the introduction of rifaximin for the treatment of traveler's diarrhea, and the results of an oral vaccine for cholera tested in a high endemic area where there is also a high prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus infection. In inflammatory bowel disease, the impact of a biomarker of inflammation, C-reactive protein, to the response to a new biologic therapy is identified as potentially important because it might facilitate the selection of patients for these treatments. Results of device, endoscopic, and surgical treatment of obesity are reviewed, including the evidence of significant impact of surgery-induced weight loss on comorbid diseases. In the field of cancer, colonoscopic screening results in more polyps detected, down-staging of cancers identified, and improved cancer survival. A new familial syndrome associated with a serrated adenoma/carcinoma phenotype and variability in microsatellite instability is described. A controlled study demonstrates that a urine-derived substance, ulinastatin, reduces the risk of post-endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography pancreatitis. Hepatic stellate cells are involved in the fibrogenesis associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. These areas of clinical research demonstrate the breadth of significant advances that will impact on the clinical practice of gastroenterology and hepatology.
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