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World Gastroenterology Organisation
World Gastroenterology Organisation


World Digestive Health Day 2009 - Monthly Research Review

For the 2009 WDHD campaign, WGO announced a new WDHD tool to support irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) awareness: The Monthly Research Review. Issued once a month in 2009, The Monthly Research Review featured a global IBS expert in the WGO E-Newsletter and website, who recommended and highlighted a “gold standard” article on IBS with a direct link to the original source. The Monthly Research Review was archived and is accessible on the WGO website.


December 2009: Monthly Research Review

Article: Development and validation of a risk score for post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome.

Source: American Journal of Gastroenterology, September 2009, vol. 104, no. 9:2267-74. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2009.302.

F. MearinProfessor Mearin is one of WGO’s esteemed collaborators and a much appreciated member of our WGO IBS Review team. The article presents an easy to use risk ‘tool’ that can predict which patients with acute gastroenteritis may go on to develop IBS.

Professor F. Mearin: “A very interesting study developing and validating a risk score for post-infectious IBS. It emphasizes the clinical relevance of post-infectious IBS and how to identify risk factors for IBS."

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November 2009: Monthly Research Review

Article: Prospective Study of Motor, Sensory, Psychologic, and Autonomic Functions in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Source: Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2008; 6;772-781.

Igor KhalifThe World Gastroenterology Organisation is honored to have Professor Igor Khalif as the Russian Expert on its IBS Review team. The study showed that in tertiary referral (predominantly female) patients with IBS, colonic transit (32%) is the most prevalent physiologic abnormality; 21% had increased and 17% had decreased rectal pain sensations. And so, a comprehensive physiologic assessment may help optimize management in IBS.

Professor Igor Khalif: “This paper is interesting due to its fundamentality, and, what is most important, demonstrates directions in search for treatment measures."

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October 2009: Monthly Research Review

Article: Mucosal immune activation in irritable bowel syndrome: gender-dependence and association with digestive symptoms.

Source: Am J Gastroenterol. 2009;104:392-400.

Max SchmulsonProfessor Schmulson is one of WGO’s much respected IBS review team members from Mexico. His selection of this study from Bologna, Italy shows once again that science is global effort.

Professor Max J. Schmulson: “IBS patients showed an increase (72%) in colonic mucosal immune cells compared with controls. It was lower than in microscopic colitis and ulcerative colitis as if IBS is part of an inflammatory spectrum of colonic disorders."

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September 2009: Monthly Research Review

Article: Clinical trial: the effects of a trans-galactooligosaccharide prebiotic on faecal microbiota and symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome.

Source: Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2009 Mar 1;29(5):508-18.

Francisco GuarnerThe findings suggest that the prebiotic has potential as a therapeutic agent in IBS. More grist to the 'we are what we eat' mill. Professor Guarner from Barcelona is one of the world's most eminent probiotic experts and a WGO Clinical Guideline team recently completed a Probiotic Guideline under his supervision.

Professor Francisco Guarner: “Dysfunction of fecal microbiota may be important in the pathogenesis of IBS symptoms. This trial shows that prebiotic-induced changes in microbiota composition are effective in alleviating symptoms."

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August 2009: Monthly Research Review

Article: Effectiveness and safety of herbal medicines in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: A systematic review.

Source: World J Gastroenterol. 2008 January 21; 14(3): 454-462.

Carolina OlanoThe use of Herbal medicines is increasing worldwide and high quality studies show measurable benefit. Professor Olano's choice is a fascinating example of science knowing no boundaries.

Professor Carolina Olano: “Herbal medicine is commonly used for IBS not only in China but also in South America . Its efficacy is difficult to assess, because of the variety of ingredients and preparations. More studies are needed"

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July 2009: Monthly Research Review

Article: The diagnosis of IBS in primary care: consensus development using nominal group technique.

Source: Family Practice. 2006 23(6):687-692; doi:10.1093/fampra/cml050.

Pali HunginDr. Pali Hungin is one of the key members of the WGO IBS Guideline team. His selected article is special because it questions the value of formal criteria (eg. ROME) and argues that cultural and psychosocial factors are key influences. He suggests this is probably how most clinicians diagnose IBS in the real world.

Dr. Hungin: “GPs diagnose IBS based on pattern recognition with altered bowel habits and bloating as key features and not with formal diagnostic criteria."

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June 2009: Monthly Research Review

Article: Mucosal immune activation in irritable bowel syndrome: gender-dependence and association with digestive symptom.

Source: Am J Gastroenterol. 2009; 104(2): 392-400.

Greger LindbergProfessor Greger Lindberg from Sweden is one of the key members of WGO Guidelines Committee and one of the expert scientists in the WGO’s author review team for the IBS guideline. His selection is very important - the results from this study provide the rationale for considering immune mechanisms as a pathophysiological component in a subset of IBS patients.

Professor Lindberg: “Many IBS patients exhibited extra immune cells in colonic mucosa. So more information regarding disease mechanisms is hidden beneath the superficial look at a haematoxylin and eosin stained biopsy section."

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May 2009: Monthly Research Review

Article: Development of functional gastrointestinal disorders after Giardia lamblia infection

Source: BMC Gastroenterology. 2009, 9:27.

Shobna BhatiaProfessor Shobna Bhatia from India is one of the key authors of the WGO IBS guideline team. This study from Norway aims to characterize persistent abdominal symptoms elicited by Giardia infection according to Rome II criteria and symptoms scores. We are pleased to present this open access article to the global gastroenterology community.

Professor Bhatia: “We did not know Giardia lamblia infection was an IBS risk factor. This article shows it is. It infects the small bowel; large bowel symptoms were unexpected."

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April 2009: Monthly Research Review

Article: The psychoneuroimmunology of irritable bowel syndrome – an exploration of interactions between psychological, neurological and immunological observations

Source: Aliment Pharmacol Ther., 2008 Oct 1;28(7):830-40. Epub 2008 Jul 10.

Bustos FernandezProfessor Bustos Fernandez, from Argentina, is one of our eminent WGO IBS Guideline review team members. His selected article is very important as the translation of animal model findings to humans is needed to link the various psychological, neurological and immunological changes noted in IBS. This analysis may identify patient sub-groups, which will ultimately be critical for drug testing to be focused accordingly.

Professor Bustos Fernandez: “This very interesting review explores interactions between different pathophysiological mechanisms in IBS. The definition of the relative importance of all of the various psychological, neurogastroenterological and immunological changes that have been identified in IBS, will be fundamental for the development of new pharmacological targets."

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March 2009: Monthly Research Review

Article: Epidemiological and clinical profile of irritable bowel syndrome in India: report of the Indian Society of Gastroenterology Task Force

Source: Indian Journal of Gastroenterology. 2008, Volume 27 Number 1.

Kok Ann GweeA wonderful and sharp selection by Professor Gwee from Singapore, this prospective multi-center study by the Indian Society of Gastroenterology's IBS Taskforce with data from 4500 community subjects involving 2785 patients with chronic lower GI symptoms presenting at 30 nation-wide centers in India. Most patients were middle aged men. By contrast, the typical IBS patient in the West is often a young female.

Professor Gwee: “By not being shackled to conventional criteria, this study reaffirms to me that the IBS patient that I see can be different from the image created in Rome."

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