Smartphone App to Assess Stool Shape, Rural and Urban Differences in Cirrhosis Mortality, Lung Infection Risk in Severe Alcoholic Hepatitis in July AJG issue

Newswise — Bethesda, MD (July 5, 2022) – The July issue of The American Journal of Gastroenterology points to new clinical science, including a smartphone app that can accurately assess stool shape, rural and urban differences in cirrhosis mortality, and lung infection risk in severe alcohol-related hepatitis. This issue also features articles on pediatric IBD, therapy options for Crohn’s disease, a new endoscopic suturing device, proton pump inhibitors, and more.

Several articles are featured below and access to all articles from this issue, or previous issues, is available upon request. The College may also put members of the press in touch with authors of studies or external experts who can comment on the articles.

A smartphone application that uses artificial intelligence is superior to self-report in assessing stools
allspice, et al
Patient reporting of stool shape, based on the Bristol Stool Scale, is often used to document the effects and side effects of interventions in irritable bowel syndrome, but is a subjective assessment. In this RCT, authors compared the accuracy of a smartphone app that uses artificial intelligence to assess digital images and identify stool shape, assessment by two expert gastroenterologists, and patient self-reports. They found that the app provided a similar rating compared to expert gastroenterologists and was more accurate than patient self-report.

Country-urban differences in cirrhosis deaths in the United States from 1999 to 2019
ufere, et al
Between 1999 and 2019, a nearly 20-fold increase was found in the difference between age-adjusted cirrhosis death rates between rural and large urban areas in individuals 25 years of age and older, indicating a need for further research into possible causes and implications for future policy efforts.

Doctor, what is the best therapy for Crohn’s?
Kim Isaacs, MD, PhD & Sunanda Kane, MD, MSPH, FACG
In this lead article, the authors discuss the range of biologic therapies available to treat Crohn’s disease, including anti-TNF, anti-integrin, and anti-interleukin agents, in the context of clinical trials. They note that it is essential to use all available data and that “the best therapy takes into account the location of the disease, the risk of complications and what is considered success.”

Lung infection in severe alcohol-related hepatitis: not to be underestimated
Stevan A. Gonzalez, MD & Patrick S. Kamath, MD
This editorial discusses Ntandja Wandi’s study, et al., in this issue, “Lung infection affects access to treatment and short-term outcomes in patients with severe alcohol-related hepatitis treated with corticosteroids† While there is a significant risk of lung infection in severe AH, and an increase in alcohol use disorders and associated liver disease has been documented during the COVID pandemic, contributors note that infection “does not appear to be increased with corticosteroid therapy in responders, but rather has been related to non-response to corticosteroids and insufficient recovery of liver function. It is clear that early identification of patients with severe AH who are at increased risk for lung infection could improve outcomes through early aggressive intervention, including antibiotic therapy.”

Overweight and obesity are not associated with disease activity for children and adolescents with newly diagnosed inflammatory bowel disease
jaina, et al
A retrospective cohort study of nearly 5,000 children and adolescents with newly diagnosed IBD found that “obese and overweight children with newly diagnosed inflammatory bowel disease did not appear to have aggravated disease activity 1 year after diagnosis compared to normal-weight children.”

About the American College of Gastroenterology
Founded in 1932, the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) is an organization with an international membership of more than 17,000 individuals from 86 countries. The College’s vision is to be the preeminent professional organization championing the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of digestive disorders, serving as a beacon to guide the delivery of the highest quality, compassionate and evidence-based patient care. The College’s mission is to enhance our members’ ability to provide world-class care to patients with digestive disorders and advance the profession through excellence and innovation based on the pillars of patient care, education, scientific research, advocacy, and practice management .

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