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Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are widely prescribed for treatment of pain or inflammation such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis, but these drugs are not entirely innocuous. One of the major adverse effects of NSAIDs is on the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Recent advances in small-bowel endoscopy have revealed that NSAIDs frequently damage the small intestine, with the prevalence rate of mucosal breaks of around 50% in chronic users. The review “Current knowledge on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug-induced small-bowel damage: a comprehensive review” has summarized the epidemiology, pathophysiology, and treatment of NSAIDs-induced small intestinal damage with a focus on recent data. It remarked that misoprostol was currently the only drug to be effective in healing small-bowel ulcers though its protection was inadequate. As a result, the efficacy of the combination of misoprostol with other drugs, especially those targeting the innate immune system, should be further studied in the next step. (J Gastroenterol. 2019 Dec 21. doi: 10.1007/s00535-019-01657-8. [Epub ahead of print])


Anyone interested in future collaboration in this field of research is welcome to contact our Dean Prof Francis Chan, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK. Prof Chan’s research focuses on peptic ulcer bleeding, helicobacter pylori, endoscopic therapy and colorectal cancer.

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