Non-invasive tools for compensated advanced chronic liver disease and portal hypertension after Baveno VII – an updateNon-invasive tests (NITs) and liver stiffness measurement (LSM) in particular, have entered clinical practice over 20 years ago as point-of-care tests to diagnose liver fibrosis in patients with compensated chronic liver disease. Since then, NITs use has evolved thanks to a large number of studies in all major etiologies of liver disease, and they have become important tools to stratify the risk of portal hypertension and liver-related events. The Baveno VII consensus workshop provided several novel recommendations regarding the use of well-established and novel NITs in the specific setting of portal hypertension screening, diagnosis and follow-up.
Colectomy rates in ulcerative colitis: A systematic review and meta-analysisSurgical management in Ulcerative Colitis (UC) is typically utilised in medically refractory cases and, therefore, it is a useful marker for efficacy of medical management.
Pesticides and pancreatic adenocarcinoma: A transversal epidemiological, environmental and mechanistic narrative reviewPancreatic adenocarcinoma (PA) incidence is rising worldwide, especially in France. The evolution of known risk factors such as tobacco smoking, obesity, type 2 diabetes, chronic pancreatitis, or constitutional mutations is not sufficient to explain this trend. Pesticides are known risk factors in other malignancies. Previous studies have outlined pesticides' influence in PA, such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane as plausible risk factors. The general population is directly or indirectly exposed to pesticides through air, food or water.
Critical signaling pathways governing colitis-associated colorectal cancer: Signaling, therapeutic implications, and challengesLong-term colitis in people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may lead to colon cancer called colitis-associated colorectal cancer (CAC). Since the advent of preclinical prototypes of CAC, various immunological messaging cascades have been identified as implicated in developing this disease. The toll-like receptor (TLR)s, Janus kinase (JAK)-signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT), Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), mammalian target of rapamycin complex (mTOR), autophagy, and oxidative stress are only a few of the molecular mechanisms that have been recognized as major components to CAC progression.
Impact of colorectal cancer screening on incidence, mortality and surgery rates: Evidences from programs based on the fecal immunochemical test in ItalyFecal immunochemical tests (FIT) are among the most commonly used tests for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening programs worldwide. However, no randomised controlled trials have been carried out evaluating the impact of FIT-based screening programs (FIT-progr) on CRC incidence and mortality rates. Italian FIT-progr represent one of the most widespread and established experience worldwide. This paper reviews the evidence on the impact of FIT-progr on CRC incidence, tumor stage at diagnosis, mortality and surgery rates, deriving from Italian routine programs, i.e., outside the research setting.
Covid-19 and alcohol associated liver diseaseThe COVID-19 pandemic is having substantial impacts on the health status of individuals with alcohol use disorder (AUD) and alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD). AUD and ALD have both been impacted throughout the pandemic, with increases in alcohol use during the early stages of the pandemic, reduced access to treatment during the mid-pandemic, and challenges in managing the downstream effects in the post-COVID era. This review will focus on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted AUD and ALD epidemiology and access to treatment, and will discuss to address this rising AUD and ALD disease burden.
Vascular liver diseases: A sex-oriented analysis of the literatureVascular liver diseases are an heterogenous group of diseases that collectively represent an important health issue in the field of liver diseases. This narrative review was elaborated by the Special Interest Group (SIG) “Gender in Hepatology” of the Italian Association for the Study of the Liver (AISF). We aimed to review the current knowledge regarding the potential role of biological sex in patients with vascular liver diseases such as splanchnic vein thrombosis, hepatic vein thrombosis, porto-sinusoidal vascular disorder, and hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia.
Sex disparity and drug-induced liver injuryDrug-induced liver injury (DILI) is a potentially serious clinical condition that remains a major problem for patients, physicians and those involved in the development of new drugs. Population and hospital-based studies have reported incidences of DILI varying from 1.4 to 19.1/100.000. Overall, females have a 1.5- to 1.7-fold greater risk of developing adverse drug reactions and the female/male ratio increases after the age of 49 years, suggesting a clear susceptibility of DILI after menopause.
Application of histology-agnostic treatments in metastatic colorectal cancerCancer treatment is increasingly focused on targeting molecular alterations identified across different tumor histologies. While some oncogenic drivers such as microsatellite instability (MSI) and NTRK fusions are actionable with the very same approach regardless of tumor type (“histology-agnostic”), others require histology-specific therapeutic adjustment (“histology-tuned”) by means of adopting specific inhibitors and ad hoc combinations. Among histology-agnostic therapies, pembrolizumab or dostarlimab demonstrated comparable activity in MSI metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) as in other tumors with MSI status (ORR 38% vs 40% and 36% vs 39%, respectively), while entrectinib or larotrectinib proved effective in NTRK rearranged mCRC even though less dramatically than in the overall population (ORR 20% vs 57%, and 50% vs 78%, respectively).
Systematic Review: esophageal motility patterns in patients with eosinophilic esophagitisEosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a chronic disorder of the esophagus characterized by an eosinophil-predominant inflammation and symptoms of esophageal dysfunction. Eosinophils can influence esophageal motility, leading to dysphagia worsening. The spectrum of esophageal motility in EoE is uncertain.
Sarcopenia in chronic advanced liver diseases: A sex-oriented analysis of the literatureSarcopenia, defined as progressive and generalized loss of muscle mass and strength, is common in chronic liver disease. It significantly impacts the quality of life and increases the risk of liver-related complications and mortality in cirrhotic patients. Moreover, recent studies showed a negative impact of sarcopenia on patients awaiting liver transplantation (LT), on post-LT outcomes, and on response to hepatocellular carcinoma therapies. Data about the influence of sex on the incidence, prevalence, diagnosis and treatment of sarcopenia in chronic liver diseases are poor and conflicting.
Exposed endoscopic full-thickness resection without laparoscopic assistance for gastric submucosal tumors: A systematic review and pooled analysisExposed endoscopic full-thickness resection (Eo-EFTR) is emerging as a promising minimally invasive alternative to surgery for the treatment of deep gastric submucosal tumors (G-SMTs). However, literature concerning this subject is heterogeneous and data mostly come from relatively small retrospective studies.
Future challenges in gastroenterology and hepatology, between innovations and unmet needs: A SIGE Young Editorial Board's perspectiveGastroenterology, Digestive Endoscopy and Hepatology have faced significant improvements in terms of diagnosis and therapy in the last decades. However, many fields still remain poorly explored, and many questions unanswered. Moreover, basic-science, as well as translational and clinical discoveries, together with technology advancement will determine further steps toward a better, refined care for many gastroenterological disorders in the future. Therefore, the Young Investigators of the Italian Society of Gastroenterology (SIGE) joined together, offering a perspective on major future innovations in some hot clinical topics in Gastroenterology, Endoscopy, and Hepatology, as well as the current pitfalls and the grey zones.
FAPI PET/CT research progress in digestive system tumours18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography has been used in clinical practice for many years. This modality is of great value for tumour diagnosis, staging, and efficacy evaluations, but it has many limitations in the diagnosis and treatment of digestive system tumours. Fibroblast activation protein is highly expressed in gastrointestinal tumours. Various isotope-labelled fibroblast activation protein inhibitors are widely used in clinical research. These inhibitors have low background uptake in the brain, liver and oral/pharyngeal mucosa and show good contrast between the tumour and background, which makes up for the lack of fluorodeoxyglucose in the diagnosis of digestive system tumours.
Intercellular crosstalk of liver sinusoidal endothelial cells in liver fibrosis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinomaIntercellular crosstalk among various liver cells plays an important role in liver fibrosis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Capillarization of liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs) precedes fibrosis and accumulating evidence suggests that the crosstalk between LSECs and other liver cells is critical in the development and progression of liver fibrosis. LSECs dysfunction, a key event in the progression from fibrosis to cirrhosis, and subsequently obstruction of hepatic sinuses and increased intrahepatic vascular resistance (IHVR) contribute to development of portal hypertension (PHT) and cirrhosis.
Distinctive features of hepatocellular carcinoma in non-alcoholic fatty liver diseaseHepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is on the rise globally, causing more than 800 thousand deaths annually, with an estimated annual percent change of 0.51 for causes other than viral hepatitis, including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The incidence of NAFLD-related HCC is peaking in several Far East regions (6–12% vs. 2–3% in Western Europe and USA), HCC risk being mainly driven by the epidemic of obesity and diabetes, both favored by an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle. Under inherited susceptibility outlined by such genetic markers as variants in PNPLA3, TM6SF2 and MBOAT7, neoplastic transformation of NAFLD is driven by sublethal lipotoxicity consequent to hepatocyte lipid overload, whereas a myriad of factors spanning from subverted circadian homeostasis and gut dysbiosis to alcohol abuse and tobacco may interact as risk modifiers.
Cutting edge issues in juvenile sclerosing cholangitisSclerosing cholangitis (SC) is a rare chronic disorder characterised by inflammation and progressive obliterative fibrosis of the intrahepatic and/or extrahepatic bile ducts. Diagnosis is based on cholangiogram showing bile duct dilatation, narrowing and obliteration of the biliary tree, and histologically, on the presence of inflammatory bile duct damage leading to periductal fibrosis. In children the most common SC is associated with strong autoimmune features, overlapping with those of autoimmune hepatitis (AIH); this form is known as autoimmune sclerosing cholangitis, ASC.
The application of artificial intelligence in hepatology: A systematic reviewThe integration of human and artificial intelligence (AI) in medicine has only recently begun but it has already become obvious that intelligent systems can dramatically improve the management of liver diseases. Big data made it possible to envisage transformative developments of the use of AI for diagnosing, predicting prognosis and treating liver diseases, but there is still a lot of work to do. If we want to achieve the 21st century digital revolution, there is an urgent need for specific national and international rules, and to adhere to bioethical parameters when collecting data.
A reasoned approach to the treatment of autoimmune hepatitisAutoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a chronic inflammatory liver disease affecting all ages, characterised by elevated transaminase and immunoglobulin G levels, positive autoantibodies, interface hepatitis on histology and good response to immunosuppressive treatment. If untreated, it has a poor prognosis. The aim of this review is to analyse AIH therapeutic interventions with reference to our knowledge of the pathogenesis of AIH. Standard treatment, based on steroids and azathioprine, leads to disease remission in 80–90% of patients.
Female reproductive health and inflammatory bowel disease: A practice-based reviewInflammatory bowel diseases, namely ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, occur worldwide and affect people of all ages, with a high impact on their quality of life. Sex differences in incidence and prevalence have been reported, and there are also gender-specific issues that physicians should recognize. For women, there are multiple, important concerns regarding issues of body image and sexuality, menstruation, contraception, fertility, pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause. This practice-based review focuses on the main themes that run through the life of women with inflammatory bowel diseases from puberty to menopause.
Vaccinations in patients with inflammatory bowel diseaseTreatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) frequently requires administration of immunosuppressive therapies, which increases susceptibility to a number of infectious pathogens. However, many infections can be prevented by correct and appropriate utilization of vaccinations. While several guidelines have been published on vaccination schedules in patients with IBD, vaccination rates remain suboptimal and even lower than those in the general population. This is due to many factors including poor awareness of the importance of vaccines by gastroenterologists and general practitioners as well as potential prejudices of patients regarding the safety and benefits of vaccines.
Treatment of primary sclerosing cholangitisPrimary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a chronic cholestatic liver disease characterized by progressive fibro-stenotic strictures and destruction of the biliary tree. Currently, there is no effective treatment which can delay its progression or ameliorate the transplant-free survival. Moreover, a major chontroversy in PSC is whether to use UDCA. More recently, novel pharmacological agents emerged aiming at: i) modulation of bile composition; ii) immunomodulation; iii) targeting the gut microbiome; iv) targeting fibrosis.
Clinical usefulness of esophageal high resolution manometry and adjunctive tests: An updateHigh resolution manometry (HRM), developed from conventional manometry, is the gold standard for assessment of esophageal motor function worldwide. The Chicago Classification, now in its fourth iteration, is the modern standard for HRM categorization of esophageal motility disorders. The HRM protocol has expanded from the original 10 supine swallow standard, to include upright swallows, and provocative maneuvers such as multiple rapid swallows, rapid drink challenge and standardized test meal. Impedance has been incorporated into HRM for visualization of bolus clearance.
Vaccinations and inflammatory bowel disease – a systematic reviewPatients with inflammatory bowel disease(IBD) are at risk of infections, many of which are preventable with vaccinations. We performed a systematic review on various aspects of vaccination in IBD.
Gastritis: The clinico-pathological spectrumThe inflammatory spectrum of gastric diseases includes different clinico-pathological entities, the etiology of which was recently established in the international Kyoto classification. A diagnosis of gastritis combines the information resulting form the gross examination (endoscopy) and histology (microscopy). It is important to consider the anatomical/functional heterogeneity of the gastric mucosa when obtaining representative mucosal biopsy samples. Gastritis includes self-limiting and non-self-limiting (long-standing) inflammatory diseases, and the latter are epidemiologically, biologically and clinically linked to the onset of gastric cancer (i.e.