Treating severe ulcerative colitis with infliximab may reduce the likelihood patients will need a colon resection, researchers reported at a surgical conference. About 20% of UC patients generally need surgery, but researchers said the number was significantly reduced among those taking infliximab. Some 4.1% to 11.1% of treated patients underwent surgery, compared with 46.6% to 55.7% of untreated patients.
Patients who take drugs that block tumor necrosis factor alpha have a slightly higher risk of complications following surgery to treat inflammatory bowel disease, Canadian researchers reported. Dr. John Marshall of McMaster University said the study should not change physician practice, but should serve as a caution to doctors and patients that they must weigh all the risks and benefits of surgery for IBD.
CDC officials reported Tuesday that only half of U.S. patients who have ever been infected with hepatitis C receive follow-up screening to determine if they are still infected. "Complete testing is critical to ensure that those who are infected receive the care and treatment for hepatitis C that they need in order to prevent liver cancer and other serious and potentially deadly health consequences," said CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden.
Children who have inflammatory bowel disease can safely be vaccinated against influenza and should be encouraged to do so, according to researchers from Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. The study, which included almost 5,000 children with IBD, found no increase in their use of health services following immunization, when compared with control data.
Researchers who screened patients ages 50 to 65 for hepatitis during an appointment for a colonoscopy said it may be an effective way to achieve widespread testing. Their report in The American Journal of Gastroenterology said 36% of patients had at least one chronic hepatitis risk factor, such as having a tattoo before the year 2000, having an STD, or reporting a history of high-risk sexual or drug-use behaviors.