Letter from the Editor: Spring brings flowers and liver stories


Happy spring (finally, for many of us)! This month’s issue of GI & Hepatology News is “weighted” towards liver. The decrease in hepatitis C–related liver disease means that steatohepatitis will emerge as the most frequent cause of cirrhosis and transplantation. Finding medical therapies to slow obesity-related liver damage has proven challenging. Bariatric surgery may be the best option for patients, as pointed out by one of our lead stories. Another page one story lays out a roadmap to eliminate viral hepatitis in the United States, a situation unheard of until direct-acting antiviral agents were developed.

Dr. John I. Allen

A couple stories about celiac disease will be of interest, including one that discusses a viral etiology (albeit an animal study). A second story focuses on the prevalence of sprue in children.

The AGA’s contribution to this month’s issue is excellent. First, there is the continuing controversy regarding maintenance of certification. AGA has worked hard to eliminate the 10-year high-impact closed book examination (now an anachronism). We will have the option of a 2-year exam (open book) and you will need to become familiar with testing proposals so we all can add voices of reason to the ABIM process.

Additionally, the AGA highlights the POWER guideline (weight management) and its obesity resources, DDSEP® 8 and a new clinical guideline concerning transient elastography.

We close this month’s issue with a discussion from Ray Cross and Sunanda Kane about telemedicine and its impact on gastroenterology. There are multiple examples of how telemedicine is changing our practices and the piece provides hope for increased efficiencies and leveraged resources.

I hope you enjoy this issue. I have avoided my usual hints about our chaotic politics and its impact on our practices. We all need some relief and should take time to note the spring flowers.

John I. Allen, MD, MBA, AGAF

Editor in Chief

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