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In The News
January 2019. Diverticulitis of the Colon: Latest Data and Concepts
Featuring: Lisa Strate, MD, MPH
Published by: Gastroenterology
Diverticular disease, once a rarely diagnosed medical curiosity, is now one of the most common GI disorders among inpatients and outpatients. It was readily attributed to fiber deficiency, surgery and antibiotics became the primary treatments for diverticulitis, and research in the field stagnated. In the past 2 decades, there has been a resurgent interest in diverticular disease, resulting in new data and concepts regarding epidemiology, pathophysiology and treatment.
January 2019. Region’s 1st Hepatitis C Heart-Transplant Recipient Is Cured
Featuring: Renuka Bhattacharya, MD
Published by: UW Medicine Newsroom
UW Medicine is declaring success with the Pacific Northwest’s first heart-transplant recipient to purposely acquire the hepatitis C virus (HCV) from the donor organ and then have the disease eradicated by antiviral medication. Drs. Jason Smith and Renuka Bhattacharya helped formulate UW Medicine's HCV transplant protocol.
January 2019. New AGA Guideline Provides Recommendations for the Treatment of Mild-to-Moderate Ulcerative Colitis
Featuring: Cynthia Ko, MD, MS
Published by: American Gastroenterological Association
Most patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) have mild-to-moderate disease characterized by periods of activity or remission, but practice variations exist in disease management. A new clinical guideline from the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) published in Gastroenterology, the official journal of AGA, addresses the medical management of these patients, focusing on use of both oral and topical 5-aminosalicylates (5-ASA) medications, rectal corticosteroids and oral budesonide, to promote high-quality care for UC patients.
December 2018. Don't Take My Colonoscopy Away!
Featuring: Rachel Issaka, MD, MAS; John Inadomi, MD
Published by: UW Medicine Newsroom | JAMA
In a recent Michigan survey of 308 veterans – all over age 50 and deemed at normal risk for colorectal cancer – more than one-fourth of respondents strongly objected to losing access to the cancer screening late in life, surprising researchers.
November 2018. Colorectal Cancer Screening: Is Colonoscopy The Best Option?
Featuring: Jason Dominitz, MD, MHS
Published by: Medical Clinics of North America
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, but more than a third of age-eligible Americans are not up to date on screening. There are several available screening tests, which may cause primary care providers to ponder - which is the best test?
November 2018. Why Am I Always Bloated?
Featuring: Margaret Eugenio, MD
Published by: Woman's Day
Bloating is a normal part of the digestive process. What may not be normal though, is constantly feeling like your stomach is swollen. If that is the case, there are a few possibilities that may be putting your gut in a rut.
November 2018. Recent Advances in Management of Acalculous Cholecystitis
Featuring: Bryan Balmadrid, MD
Published by: F1000 Research
Acalculous cholecystitis is an uncommon but potentially devastating infection of the gallbladder. The diagnosis can be difficult to make, but early recognition is important. What are the factors that determine the appropriate treatment modality?
November 2018. The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media: A Guide For Gastroenterologists
Featuring: Christina Surawicz, MD
Published by: American Journal of Gastroenterology
We all know about social media, and may have a love-hate relationship, but it is here to stay. With widespread use of social media in medicine, appropriate application by gastroenterologists can have advantages. What are the benefits and risks of social media, as well as relevance to fellows in training and staff?
October 2018. Population Health Interventions to Improve Colorectal Cancer Screening by Fecal Immunochemical Tests
Featuring: Rachel Issaka, MD, MAS
Published by: Preventive Medicine
There is clear evidence that screening by colonoscopy and stool-based tests is cost-effective and saves lives. However it remains underutilized. Fecal immunochemical test (FIT) use in screening is rapidly increasing. Are there interventions that could improve adherence to FIT-based CRC screening?
October 2018. What are the Benefits of a Sustained Virologic Response to Direct-Acting Antiviral Therapy for HCV Infection?
Featuring: George Ioannou, MD, MS
Published by: Gastroenterology
The effectiveness of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) in eradicating HCV is firmly established and is one of the greatest triumphs of medical therapeutics in the last 20 years. What remains to be determined is the extent to which DAA-induced sustained virologic response (SVR) leads to short-term and long-term clinical benefits for patients.
October 2018. The Gut Microbiome and Brain Health
Featuring: R. William DePaolo, PhD
Published by: UW Medicine Memory & Brain Wellness Center
Shifts in the composition or function of the microbiome have been implicated in IBD, autism, and blood cancers. Researchers are now discovering that a disrupted microbiome, in certain contexts, may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and related conditions that cause dementia.

“The role of the microbiome in health and disease is an exciting area at the forefront of science, but the field is in its infancy,” says Dr. William Depaolo, a UW Medicine gastroenterologist and director of the UW Center for Microbiome Sciences & Therapeutics. “I think about the microbiome like a biologist thinks about the deep sea. We know there’s something down there, and we finally have the technology to help us see who’s actually there and how they are influencing our bodies and brains.”
September 2018. Estimating Risk of HCC Post Antiviral Treatment of HCV
Featuring: George Ioannou, MD, MS
Published by: Journal of Hepatology
Most patients with hepatitis C virus, have been treated or will be treated with direct-acting antivirals. It is important that we can model the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in these patients, so that we develop the optimum screening strategy that avoids unnecessary screening, while adequately screening those at increased risk. Herein, we have developed and validated models that are available as web-based tools that can be used to guide screening strategies.
September 2018. Liver Complications Following Antibody-Drug Conjugate Therapy
Featuring: George McDonald, MD
Published by: Hepatology
The advent of antibody-drug conjugates (ADC), designed to deliver a toxic moiety into tumor cells, has altered the approach to many cancers, particularly hematologic malignancies. However, unexpected toxicity has been seen after ADC therapies, through several potential mechanisms. Liver toxicity, specifically injury to hepatic sinusoids, is a major concern for development of
antibody-drug conjugates.
September 2018. Probiotics’ Effects on the Microbiome Vary Widely
Featuring: Neelendu Dey, MD
Published by: The Scientist
Probotics are a booming business, with sales in the billions of dollars each year and millions of customers in the US alone. Companies claim that the microbial concoctions can help consumers do anything from lose weight to sleep better, but researchers report inconsistent effects on people’s microbiomes.
July 2018. Seattle Metroplitan Magazine's Top Doctors 2018
Featuring: Haritha Avula, MBBS; Scott Lee, MD; W. Michael McDonnell, MD; Elizabeth Morrison, MD; Michael Saunders, MD; Adam Templeton, MD
Published by: Seattle Metropolitan Magazine
Congratulations to UWGI faculty who made Seattle Metroplitan Magazine's 13th annual list of the best health care professionals in the Seattle area, featuring 753 doctors, physician assistants and nurse practictioners in more than 78 specialties.
July 2018. Dr. John Inadomi Honored by the American Health Council for "Best Medicine"
Featuring: John Inadomi, MD
Published by: American Health Council
The American Health Council has honored Dr. John Inadomi “America’s Best Doctor” for his contributions to the gastrointestinal field. Currently a professor of medicine and the Head of the Division of Gastroenterology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Dr. Inadomi provides educational and medical guidance for patients, students and his peers. While he has held the latter role for over 8 years, Dr. Inadomi has spent nearly 30 years in the healthcare industry expanding his knowledge and skills in the care of patients with gastroenterological disorders, and research in the prevention of gastrointestinal cancers.
July 2018. Esophageal Adenocarcinoma: When DNA Methylation Informs the Treatment
Featuring: William Grady, MD
Published by: Fred Hutch Science Spotlight
Barrett’s esophagus (BE) is an inflammatory condition of the upper gastro-intestinal tract observed as a consequence of gastro-esophageal reflux when metaplastic columnar epithelium replaces the stratified squamous epithelium in the esophagus. BE strongly predisposes to the development of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC), the sixth most common cause of cancer death worldwide according to the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Wu, a member of Dr. William Grady's team, said, "EAC at diagnosis is often already at an advanced stage that is not responsive to currently used therapies. Thus, there is an urgent need for the effective identification of optimal treatment strategies for EAC patients.”
July 2018. Recent Advances in Barrett's Esophagus
Featuring: John Inadomi, MD
Published by: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Barrett's esophagus is the only known precursor of esophageal adenocarcinoma, one of the few cancers with increasing incidence in developed countries. This review examines emerging data about the pathogenesis, screening and surveillance strategies, and treatment options for individuals with Barrett's.
July 2018. Screening and Surveillance for Barrett's Esophagus: Is It Cost-Effective?
Featuring: John Inadomi, MD; Nina Saxena, MD
Published by: Digestive Diseases and Sciences
The cost-effectiveness of screening and surveillance for Barrett’s esophagus continues to evolve as the incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma increases. Screening may be cost-effective in selected high-risk groups.
June 2018. 3 Gut Health Habits That Can Help You Control Your Weight
Featuring: R. William DePaolo, PhD
Published by: O Magazine
You exercise, you control your portions, you limit sweets—but what have you done for your gut bacteria lately? If you think that sounds odd, think again. How cultivating the right bacteria may help keep your weight in check.
June 2018. Heart-Transplant Program Opens Access to HCV-Positive Donors
Featuring: Renuka Bhattacharya, MD
Published by: UW Medicine News Room
UW Medicine’s heart-transplant team this month began giving all of its patients access to suitable donor hearts from decedents who tested positive for the hepatitis C virus. Previously, these organs were available only to patients who already had the virus.
June 2018. New Guidelines for Colorectal Cancer Screening
Featuring: John Inadomi, MD
Published by: KOMO News
You've probably heard about the new recommendations from the American Cancer Society (ACA) that came out last week. ACA now says most people should get screened for colon and rectal cancer starting at age 45, rather than 50. Find out why.
May 2018. Molecular Evolution of Metaplasia to Adenocarcinoma in the Esophagus
Featuring: William Grady, MD
Published by: Digestive Diseases and Sciences
Genetic and epigenetic alterations play a central role in the formation of Barretts esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma. Genomic analyses of esophageal adenocarcinoma and Barretts esophagus have revealed a set of commonly altered genes that are likely drivers of cancer formation in the esophagus.
May 2018. Higher Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Hispanic Patients with Hepatitis C Cirrhosis and Metabolic Risk Factors
Featuring: Alina Wong, MD
Published by: Scientific Reports
The prevalence of metabolic syndrome has increased exponentially over the past 40 years. There has been a growing body of evidence that metabolic risk factors such as diabetes and obesity are associated with progression of chronic liver disease, especially in HCV infection. A recent study shows that patients with cirrhotic chronic hepatitis C cirrhosis and super-imposed metabolic syndrome have increased risk of liver-related complications. Hispanic patients with two or more metabolic risks are at especially increased risk.
May 2018. A Surprise Medical Solution: Hypnosis
Featuring: Shoba Krishnamurthy, MD
Published by: The Wall Street Journal
Major hospitals are finding hypnotherapy can help sufferers of digestive conditions like heartburn, colitis, acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome.
May 2018. Acute Colonic Diverticulitis: Current Recommendations for Prevention, Diagnosis and Management
Featuring: Sophia Swanson, MD; Lisa Strate, MD, MPH
Published by: Annals of Internal Medicine
Acute colonic diverticulitis is a frequently encountered gastrointestinal condition. Treatment depends on the severity of the presentation, presence of complications, and underlying comorbid conditions. What are the current recommendations for prevention, diagnosis and management?
April 2018. Managing Clostridium difficile: An Old Bug With New Tricks
Featuring: Stephen Vindigni, MD; Christina Surawicz, MD
Published by: American Journal of Gastroenterology
Epidemics of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in the US, Canada, and Europe began around the year 2000 with the emergence of a hypervirulent strain with sicker patients who are more likely to require emergent colectomy or die. But now we see more CDI in immune suppressed patients, as well as more community-acquired cases. How is CDI currently being managed and what products are in the pipeline for treatment and prevention?
April 2018. Why “More Research Is Needed,” Despite Overall Certainty: Women and Colorectal Cancer Screening
Featuring: John Inadomi, MD
Published by: Annals of Internal Medicine
“More research is needed” is certainly not a very satisfying answer to the question of which CRC screening strategy is best for women or whether our CRC screening recommendations should be sex-specific. But considering that CRC is the third most common type of cancer and third most common cause of cancer death in women, the 50 million 50- to 75-year-old women in the United States deserve evidence on which to base their decisions.
April 2018. Could Some Gut Bacteria Cause Colon Cancer?
Featuring: R. William DePaolo, PhD
Published by: Right as Rain by UW Medicine
You are never alone: There are 100 trillion little friends living in your intestines, not to mention your stomach and the rest of your body. These friends are bacteria that make up the body’s microbiome. And while most of these bacteria are helpful and help keep us healthy, sometimes something goes wrong.
April 2018. Seattle Magazine Announces Top Docs of 2018
Featuring: Scott Lee, MD; Michael Saunders, MD
Published by: Seattle Magazine
Drs. Scott Lee and Michael Saunders have been recognized in the April 2018 issue of Seattle Magazine. The annual Top Doctors list includes more than 400 doctors in 67 specialties, all nominated by their colleagues for providing exceptional patient care. More than 7,800 nominations were submitted by more than 600 physicians.
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