Conference Coverage

A postgraduate tour through the biliary tree, pancreas, and liver


For the pancreatobiliary session, Michelle Ann Anderson, MD, of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, reminded us about appropriate patient selection given the risk of pancreatitis after endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography pancreatitis, also known as post-ERCP pancreatitis. Strategies to prevent post-ERCP pancreatitis include using pancreatic duct stents and using wire rather than contrast for cannulation. She recommended rectal indomethacin for all patients. Because of encouraging data, she recommended 2-3 L of lactated Ringer’s solution during the procedure and recovery.

Katie Morgan, MD, from the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, reviewed her group’s experience with 195 total pancreatectomies with islet autotransplants for chronic pancreatitis. Quality of life improved with major reductions in narcotic use, and 25% of patients were insulin free.

Bret Petersen, MD, of Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., discussed multidrug resistant infection in ERCP endoscopes. He reminded us of the risk of lapses in endoscope reprocessing steps and the need for monitoring. He commented on recent Food and Drug Administration’s culture guidance and new technologies in development.

James Scheiman, MD, from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, discussed pancreatic cysts. He reviewed the controversy between the more conservative American Gastroenterological Association guidelines and the more aggressive International Consensus guidelines. He advised considering patient preferences with a multidisciplinary approach.
For the liver session, Guadalupe García-Tsao, MD, of Yale University, New Haven, Conn., discussed the controversy regarding nonselective beta-blockers. She advised caution if refractory ascites are present because of risk for renal dysfunction, but she also highlighted the benefits including reduced first and recurrent variceal hemorrhage.

Rohit Loomba, MD, from the University of California at San Diego addressed fibrosis assessments in fatty liver. In his algorithm, patients with low Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Fibrosis Score or Fibrosis-4 scores would have continued observation, while patients with medium or high scores would undergo transient elastography or magnetic resonance elastography.

Patrick Northup, MD, from the University of Virginia discussed anticoagulation for portal vein thrombosis. He also discussed consideration of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt if there are high-risk varices. Duration of anticoagulation is controversial, but this strategy may prevent decompensation and affect transplant outcomes.

Daryl Lau, MD, MSc, MPH, from Harvard Medical School, Boston, reviewed the hepatitis B virus therapy controversy for e-antigen–negative patients with prolonged viral suppression. She recommended caution in general and emphasized that stage 3-4 fibrosis patients should not discontinue therapy.

The final talk was my review of hepatitis C virus treatment. I emphasized that pretreatment fibrosis assessments are critical given continued risk of hepatocellular carcinoma after cure. Challenges include identifying the remaining patients and supporting them through treatment. HCV therapies demonstrate what is possible when breakthroughs are translated to clinical care, and I was honored to participate in this course that highlighted many advances in our field.

Dr. Muir is a professor of medicine, director of gastroenterology & hepatology research at Duke Clinical Research Institute, and chief of the division of gastroenterology in the department of medicine at Duke University, all in Durham, N.C. He has received research grants from and served on the advisory boards for AbbVie, Gilead Sciences, Merck, and several other pharmaceutical companies. This is a summary provided by the moderator of one of the spring postgraduate course sessions held at DDW 2018.

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