Chiang AL, Rabinowitz LG, Alakbarli J, Chan WW. The Patterns and Impact of Social Media Exposure of Journal Publications in Gastroenterology: Retrospective Cohort Study. Journal of medical Internet research. 2021;23(5):e25252. doi:10.2196/25252

BACKGROUND: Medical journals increasingly promote published content through social media platforms such as Twitter. However, gastroenterology journals still rank below average in social media engagement.

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to determine the engagement patterns of publications in gastroenterology journals on Twitter and evaluate the impact of tweets on citations.

METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study comparing the 3-year citations of all full-length articles published in five major gastroenterology journals from January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2012, tweeted by official journal accounts with those that were not. Multivariate analysis using linear regression was performed to control for journal impact factor, time since publication, article type, frequency of reposting by other users ("retweets"), and media addition to tweets. Secondary analyses were performed to assess the associations between article type or subtopic and the likelihood of social media promotion/engagement.

RESULTS: A total of 1666 articles were reviewed, with 477 tweeted by the official journal account. Tweeting an article independently predicted increased citations after controlling for potential confounders (β coefficient=13.09; P=.007). There was significant association between article type and number of retweets on analysis of variance (ANOVA) (P<.001), with guidelines/technical reviews (mean difference 1.04, 95% CI 0.22-1.87; P<.001) and meta-analyses/systemic reviews (mean difference 1.03, 95% CI 0.35-1.70; P<.001) being retweeted more than basic science articles. The manuscript subtopics most frequently promoted included motility/functional bowel disease (odds ratio [OR] 3.84, 95% CI 1.93-7.64; P<.001) and education (OR 4.69, 95% CI 1.62-13.58; P=.004), while basic science papers were less likely tweeted (OR 0.154, 95% CI 0.07-0.34; P<.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Tweeting of gastroenterology journal articles independently predicted higher 3-year citations. Wider adoption of social media to increase reach and measure uptake of published research should be considered.

Grover S, Redd WD, Zhou JC, et al. High Prevalence of Gastrointestinal Manifestations of COVID-19 Infection in Hospitalized Patients With Cancer. Journal of clinical gastroenterology. 2021;55(1):84-87. doi:10.1097/MCG.0000000000001462

BACKGROUND AND AIM: Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms have been reported with SARS-CoV-2 infection, but data on the prevalence and severity of GI symptoms in patients with cancer are limited. We sought to characterize the GI manifestations of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) in oncology patients.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed a multicenter cohort study of adult patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in 9 Massachusetts medical centers and identified those with an active malignancy. We evaluated the prevalence and severity of GI symptoms among hospitalized COVID-19 patients with cancer.

RESULTS: Of 395 hospitalized patients with COVID-19, 36 (9%) had an active malignancy. Of the 36 cancer patients, 23 (63%) reported ≥1 new GI symptom. The most prevalent symptoms were anorexia (12, 52%), diarrhea (9, 39%), and vomiting (8, 35%). GI symptoms were the initial symptom in 4/36 (11%) patients, were the predominant symptom in 5/36 (14%) patients, and were severe in 4/23 (17%) patients. Four of 5 patients with GI symptoms at presentation reported concurrent fever; notably 1 patient had no fever or respiratory symptoms. Twelve (33%) patients had elevations in liver transaminases at presentation; patients with elevated transaminases were more likely to have associated GI symptoms (83% vs. 54%, P=0.04).

CONCLUSIONS: Acute GI symptoms associated with COVID-19 are highly prevalent in hospitalized cancer patients and can occur as a presenting symptom without respiratory symptoms. Symptoms are severe in a small subset of patients.

Burke KE, Kochar B, Allegretti JR, et al. Immunosuppressive Therapy and Risk of COVID-19 Infection in Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. Inflammatory bowel diseases. 2021;27(2):155-161. doi:10.1093/ibd/izaa278

BACKGROUND: The effect of immunosuppressive treatment for immune-mediated diseases on risk of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has not been established. We aimed to define the effect of targeted biologic and immunomodulator therapy on risk of COVID-19 in a multi-institutional cohort of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

METHODS: We identified patients 18 years and older who received care for IBD at Partners Healthcare between January 2019 and April 2020. The primary outcome was development of COVID-19 defined as a positive polymerase chain reaction test for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Multivariable regression models were used to examine the effect of immunosuppression on risk of COVID-19 and its outcomes.

RESULTS: In a cohort of 5302 IBD patients, 39 (0.7%) developed COVID-19. There was no difference in age, sex, or race between IBD patients with and without COVID-19. The rate of COVID-19 was similar between patients treated with immunosuppression (0.8%) compared with those who were not (0.64%; P = 0.55). After adjusting for age, sex, race, and comorbidities, use of immunosuppressive therapy was not associated with an increased risk of COVID-19 (odds ratio, 1.73; 95% confidence interval, 0.82-3.63). The presence of obesity was associated with a higher risk of COVID-19 (odds ratio, 8.29; 95% confidence interval, 3.72-18.47). There were 7 hospitalizations, 3 intensive care unit stays, and 1 death. Older age and obesity but not immunosuppressive treatment were associated with severe COVID-19 infection.

CONCLUSIONS: The use of systemic immunosuppression was not associated with an increased risk of COVID-19 in a multi-institutional cohort of patients with IBD.


Rabiee A, Sadowski B, Adeniji N, et al. Liver Injury in Liver Transplant Recipients With Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): U.S. Multicenter Experience. Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.). 2020;72(6):1900-1911. doi:10.1002/hep.31574

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is associated with liver injury, but the prevalence and patterns of liver injury in liver transplantation (LT) recipients with COVID-19 are open for study.

APPROACH AND RESULTS: We conducted a multicenter study in the United States of 112 adult LT recipients with COVID-19. Median age was 61 years (interquartile range, 20), 54.5% (n = 61) were male, and 39.3% (n = 44) Hispanic. Mortality rate was 22.3% (n = 25); 72.3% (n = 81) were hospitalized and 26.8% (n = 30) admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). Analysis of peak values of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) during COVID-19 showed moderate liver injury (ALT 2-5× upper limit of normal [ULN]) in 22.2% (n = 18) and severe liver injury (ALT > 5× ULN) in 12.3% (n = 10). Compared to age- and sex-matched nontransplant patients with chronic liver disease and COVID-19 (n = 375), incidence of acute liver injury was lower in LT recipients (47.5% vs. 34.6%; P = 0.037). Variables associated with liver injury in LT recipients were younger age (P = 0.009; odds ratio [OR], 2.06; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.20-3.54), Hispanic ethnicity (P = 0.011; OR, 6.01; 95% CI, 1.51-23.9), metabolic syndrome (P = 0.016; OR, 5.87; 95% CI, 1.38-24.99), vasopressor use (P = 0.018; OR, 7.34; 95% CI, 1.39-38.52), and antibiotic use (P = 0.046; OR, 6.93; 95% CI, 1.04-46.26). Reduction in immunosuppression (49.4%) was not associated with liver injury (P = 0.156) or mortality (P = 0.084). Liver injury during COVID-19 was significantly associated with mortality (P = 0.007; OR, 6.91; 95% CI, 1.68-28.48) and ICU admission (P = 0.007; OR, 7.93; 95% CI, 1.75-35.69) in LT recipients.

CONCLUSIONS: Liver injury is associated with higher mortality and ICU admission in LT recipients with COVID-19. Hence, monitoring liver enzymes closely can help in early identification of patients at risk for adverse outcomes. Reduction of immunosuppression during COVID-19 did not increase risk for mortality or graft failure.

Clarke JO, Ahuja NK, Chan WW, et al. Mucosal impedance for esophageal disease: evaluating the evidence. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2020;1481(1):247-257. doi:10.1111/nyas.14414

Impedance has traditionally been employed in esophageal disease as a means to assess bolus flow and reflux episodes. Recent and ongoing research has provided new and novel applications for this technology. Measurement of esophageal mucosal impedance, via either multichannel intraluminal impedance catheters or specially designed endoscopically deployed impedance catheters, provides a marker of mucosal integrity. Mucosal impedance has been shown to segregate gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and eosinophilic esophagitis from non-GERD controls and may play a role in predicting response to reflux intervention. More data are needed with regard to other esophageal subgroups, outcome studies, and functional disease. Our paper reviews the history of impedance in esophageal disease, the means of assessing baseline and mucosal impedance, data with regard to the newly developed mucosal impedance probes, the clinical utility of mucosal impedance in specific clinical conditions, and limitations in our existing knowledge, along with suggestions for future studies.

Chan WW, Ahuja N, Fisichella M, Gavini S, Rangan V, Vela MF. Extraesophageal syndrome of gastroesophageal reflux: relationships with lung disease and transplantation outcome. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2020;1482(1):95-105. doi:10.1111/nyas.14460

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is prevalent and may be associated with both esophageal and extraesophageal syndromes, which include various pulmonary conditions. GERD may lead to pulmonary complications through the "reflux" (aspiration) or "reflex" (refluxate-triggered, vagally mediated airway spasm) mechanisms. While GERD may cause or worsen pulmonary disorders, changes in respiratory mechanics due to lung disease may also increase reflux. Typical esophageal symptoms are frequently absent and objective assessment with reflux monitoring is often needed for diagnosis. Impedance monitoring should be considered in addition to traditional pH study due to the involvement of both acidic and weakly acidic/nonacidic reflux. Antireflux therapy may improve outcomes of some pulmonary complications of GERD, although careful selection of a candidate is paramount to successful outcomes. Further research is needed to identify the optimal testing strategy and patient phenotypes that would benefit from antireflux therapy to improve pulmonary outcomes.

Lazarescu A, Chan WW, Gyawali P, Lee YY, Xiao Y, Wu P. Updates on diagnostic modalities for esophageal dysphagia. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2020;1481(1):108-116. doi:10.1111/nyas.14453

Esophageal dysphagia is a common symptom in adults. Fluoroscopic contrast studies, endoscopy, and esophageal manometry have been used in the diagnosis of esophageal dysphagia for many years. The diagnostic yield has been improved with new test protocols that highlight abnormal bolus transit in the esophagus and outflow obstruction, as well as new high-definition and high-resolution technical advances in equipment. Functional luminal impedance planimetry and the addition of impedance to high-resolution esophageal manometry have also allowed the assessment of new parameters to better understand esophageal structure and function. In this concise review, we describe the role and utility of various diagnostic modalities in the assessment of patients with esophageal dysphagia.

Li M, Chan WW, Zucker SD. Association Between Atazanavir-Induced Hyperbilirubinemia and Cardiovascular Disease in Patients Infected with HIV. Journal of the American Heart Association. 2020;9(19):e016310. doi:10.1161/JAHA.120.016310

BACKGROUND: Serum bilirubin is inversely associated with cardiovascular risk. Atazanavir, an HIV protease inhibitor that competitively inhibits bilirubin conjugation, provides a unique opportunity to examine whether selectively increasing bilirubin is cardioprotective. We sought to determine whether patients receiving atazanavir manifest a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease compared with those receiving darunavir, an HIV protease inhibitor that does not increase serum bilirubin.

METHODS AND RESULTS: This was a retrospective cohort study of 1020 patients with HIV. The main outcome was time to myocardial infarction or ischemic stroke. Mean follow-up was 6.6±3.4 years, with 516 receiving atazanavir and 504 darunavir. Atazanavir patients exhibited significantly higher serum total bilirubin (1.7 versus 0.4 mg/dL; P<0.001) and longer mean time to ischemic event (10.2 versus 9.4 years; P<0.001). On Cox regression, atazanavir treatment (hazard ratio [HR], 0.38; 95% CI, 0.21-0.71; P=0.002) and serum bilirubin (HR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.41-0.89; P=0.011) were independently associated with a lower risk of an ischemic event. Notably, when atazanavir and bilirubin were included together in the Cox regression model, atazanavir lost significance (HR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.24-1.29; P=0.169) consistent with bilirubin being an intermediate variable on the causal pathway between atazanavir and its effect on cardiovascular disease. Patients on atazanavir also had a significantly lower risk of developing new cardiovascular disease (HR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.33-0.86; P=0.010) and longer mean time to death (12.2 versus 10.8 years; P<0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with HIV on atazanavir manifest a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease when compared with those on darunavir, an effect that appears to be mediated by serum bilirubin.