• Disturbances in small bowel motility.

      Quigley, E M; Department of Medicine, National University of Ireland, Cork, Cork University, Hospital, Ireland. (2012-02-03)
      Recently, the small intestine has become the focus of investigation as a potential site of dysmotility in the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). A number of motor abnormalities have been defined in some studies, and include 'clustered' contractions, exaggerated post-prandial motor response and disturbances in intestinal transit. The significance of these findings remains unclear. The interpretation of available studies is complicated by differences in subject selection, the direct influence of certain symptoms, such as diarrhoea and constipation, and the interference of compounding factors, such as stress and psychopathology. Dysmotility could also reflect autonomic dysfunction, disturbed CNS control and the response to heightened visceral sensation or central perception. While motor abnormalities may not explain all symptoms in IBS, sensorimotor interactions may be important in symptom pathogenesis and deserve further study.
    • Pharmacotherapy of gastroparesis.

      Quigley, E M; Department of Medicine, National University of Ireland, Clinical Sciences, Building, Cork University Hospital, Cork, Ireland. equigley@ucc.ie (2012-02-03)
      The evaluation and management of gastric motor dysfunction continues to represent a significant clinical challenge. The very definition of what constitutes a clinically relevant disturbance of gastric motility remains unclear. The spectrum of gastroparesis extends from those with classical symptoms and severe delay of gastric emptying to those with dyspepsia and a mild delay in emptying rate. Indeed, for many patients with dyspepsia, the role of gastric emptying delay in the pathogenesis of symptoms, remains unclear. Any assessment of the efficacy of any therapeutic class in gastroparesis must be mindful, therefore, of these variations in definition. For those individuals with severe established gastroparesis, therapeutic success often remains elusive and i.v. erythromycin and oral dopamine antagonists, or substituted benzamides, remain the best options for acute severe exacerbations and chronic maintenance therapy, respectively. Alternatives, currently under investigation, include a number of 5-HT4 agonists, macrolides devoid of antibiotic activity, CCK antagonists and gastric electrical stimulation. Other novel approaches include strategies to address some of the regional abnormalities in gastric motor function that have been identified in some patients with dyspepsia.
    • Small intestinal transplantation.

      Quigley, E M; Department of Medicine, Cork University Hospital, Central Sciences Building,, Cork, Ireland. e.quigley@ucc.ie (2012-02-03)
      The past few years have witnessed a considerable shift in the clinical status of intestinal transplantation. A great deal of experience has been gained at the most active centers, and results comparable with those reported at a similar stage in the development of other solid-organ graft programs are now being achieved by these highly proficient transplant teams. Rejection and its inevitable associate, sepsis, remain ubiquitous, and new immunosuppressant regimes are urgently needed; some may already be on the near horizon. The recent success of isolated intestinal grafts, together with the mortality and morbidity attendant upon the development of advanced liver disease related to total parenteral nutrition, has prompted the bold proposal that patients at risk for this complication should be identified and should receive isolated small bowel grafts before the onset of end-stage hepatic failure. The very fact that such a suggestion has begun to emerge reflects real progress in this challenging field.