Gastroenterology & Hepatology

July 2022 - Volume 18, Issue 7

Letter From the Editor: Spotlight on COVID-19

Gary R. Lichtenstein, MD, AGAF, FACP, FACG

Over the past several years, COVID-19 has had an enormous impact on our lives. This month’s issue of Gastroenterology & Hepatology features two timely and interesting articles involving COVID-19. One of our review articles explores biliary tract injury in patients who have COVID-19, which is now known as COVID-19 cholangiopathy. Dr Saamia Faruqui, Dr Krishna Shanbhougue, and Dr Ira M. Jacobson provide a thorough overview of the current literature on this novel entity. The authors review the clinical presentation of COVID-19 cholangiopathy, its long-term implications and the role of liver transplantation, its relationship to secondary sclerosing cholangitis, and its pathophysiology. In addition, the authors note the need for additional research on COVID-19 cholangiopathy.

Another review article this month examines the research conducted thus far on COVID-19 vaccination in patients who have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Dr Kimberly N. Weaver, Dr Michael D. Kappelman, and Dr Millie D. Long outline current recommendations as well as the perceptions that IBD patients have of COVID-19 vaccination. In addition, the authors discuss the clinical effectiveness and safety of COVID-19 vaccination (including possible adverse events) in this patient population. The authors also examine humoral immune response and T-cell response to COVID-19 vaccines, as well as the influence of COVID-19 vaccination on the potential for inducing IBD flares. 

Our third review article highlights alcohol-related liver disease. As Dr Parita V. Patel and Dr Steven L. Flamm note, there has been an increase in alcohol consumption, alcohol use disorder, and alcohol-related liver disease over the past several years. The authors examine the diagnosis and treatment of alcohol use disorder in addition to the pathophysiology, clinical presentation, and diagnosis of alcohol-related liver disease, including alcohol-associated steatosis and alcohol-associated hepatitis. The authors also review current treatment and the role of liver transplantation, along with related issues.

Our hepatology coverage continues with our Advances in Hepatology column on liver injury caused by herbal drugs. Dr Martin Tagle discusses which herbs and herbal drugs are the most common causes of liver injury, typical presentations of herbal drug–induced liver injury, and possible risk factors. In addition, his discussion includes how to best diagnose and treat patients with herbal drug–induced liver injury.

Our Advances in IBD column this month focuses on gastroduodenal and jejunoileal Crohn’s disease. Dr Benjamin L. Cohen discusses how common these types of Crohn’s disease are, their main symptoms and clinical presentations, and typical outcomes. He also discusses which modalities can be used to diagnose these types of Crohn’s disease, other conditions that should be excluded, and how to treat and monitor these patients, among other important topics. 

Finally, over-the-scope clips are highlighted in our Advances in Endoscopy column. Along with related issues, Dr Klaus E. Mönkemüller discusses the current indications for these clips, how to choose among the various types of clips for different indications, the role of these clips for managing endoscopic hemostasis and upper gastrointestinal bleeding, and how the clips compare with standard therapies for managing perforations. 

I hope that you enjoy these articles and find them useful in your clinical practice.


Gary R. Lichtenstein, MD, AGAF, FACP, FACG

Millennium Medical Publishing, Inc