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Gastrointestinal Disorders: New Insights

May 10, 2011

(Ivanhoe Newswire) ““ Research emphasizes the need for more research in treating pediatric liver disease patients and shows the benefit of using smaller colonoscopies in young patients.

“When coordinating the medical care of children, it is important for healthcare practitioners to remember that their bodies are not like adults’,” Miriam Vos, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine, was quoted as saying. “Research into the screening, diagnosis and treatment of children with gastrointestinal illnesses is allowing us to better treat and manage our youngest patients to ensure better outcomes of care and higher quality of life.”

Current U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines recommend that children six to 18 years old should be screened for obesity and, if needed, referred for more comprehensive therapy. However, recent research evaluating children ages two to 21 found that those aged two to five years responded nearly seven times more favorably than older children after completion of six months in the same obesity program. Investigators employed a multidisciplinary behavioral intervention program to treat pediatric obesity. Patients and caregivers were taught behavior change techniques such as goal setting, accountability, self-monitoring and stimulus control.

College athletes involved in the highest intensity sports””such as crew, lacrosse and swimming””have more functional gastrointestinal disorders than their peers in other sports or general college students. They found that up to 60 percent of athletes on the university’s Division 1 crew, lacrosse and swim teams experienced at least one symptom of a gastrointestinal (GI) problem, from constipation or diarrhea to abdominal bloating or pain. By comparison, half of non-athletes and less than 35 percent of athletes across all Drexel teams reported any GI symptom.

Researchers studying a new ultra-thin colonoscope (UT-CS) that was specially designed for infants and toddlers found it had excellent insertability and operability, and that the children did not suffer any complications related to the colonoscopy. Investigators used a colonoscope with an insertion diameter of 6.5mm, an outside diameter of the tip of 5.0mm, an accessory channel diameter of 2.0mm, a working length of 1100mm, and a 4-way angulation. The successful outcomes are important because previously there was no dedicated colonoscope for infants and toddlers. Dr. Nakayama cautioned that the pediatric colonoscope should be used only by a trained pediatric endoscopist who has extensive experience with conventional colonoscopes.

SOURCE: Digestive Disease Week, Chicago, Illinois, May 7, 2011




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