Abstract: Pain is a common complaint in inflammatory bowel disease, and it has significant consequences for patients’ quality of life. A thorough evaluation to determine the source of patients’ pain should include clinical, laboratory, radiologic, and endoscopic assessments as indicated. Differentiating among active inflammation, secondary complications, and functional pain can be complicated. Even when all active disease is adequately treated, clinicians are often left with the difficulty of managing chronic pain. This paper will review the benefits and limitations of several commonly used treatments and promising future therapies. A suggested treatment algorithm will provide some guidance in this challenging area of inflammatory bowel disease management.
Abstract: Chronic hepatitis B virus infection remains a global health concern, with perinatal transmission still a problem in many countries. Several new therapies for chronic hepatitis B virus infection have recently been introduced that can safely and effectively suppress viral replication with a low risk of resistance; thus, it has become increasingly tempting for many clinicians to treat patients in the immune tolerant stage of infection who have high levels of viremia yet persistently normal levels of transaminases. However, understanding the natural history of hepatitis B virus infection and how it pertains to disease progression, as well as how current therapies alter or do not alter this natural history, is important when deciding whether to treat these patients. This article will review the definition and natural history of immune tolerance, the current world guidelines and recommendations for treatment of immune tolerant patients, and data on the effectiveness of current therapies in this patient population.
Abstract: A Crohn’s disease patient’s first visit to a new practice is the optimal time to collect important clinical data and identify appropriate therapies. A methodologic approach to this visit is crucial. The focus of this visit should be on preparing the patient for the initiation of treatment, with particular attention to the necessary steps prior to the use of immunosuppressive and biologic agents. This paper is intended to provide recommendations and a checklist for the initial assessment and evaluation of patients with Crohn’s disease.