Provocative Study: Pyloric Botox for Feeding Difficulties

S Hirsch, S Nurko, P Mitchell, R Rosen. J Pediatr 2020; 226: 228-235. Botulinum Toxin as a Treatment for Feeding Difficulties in Young Children

This retrospective study of children, n=85, 2 months to 5 years (2007-2019) examined the effectiveness of intrapyloric botulinum toxin injection (IPBI) in children with feeding difficulties; many had vomiting (n=66) or retching (n=25). Dosing per report: 6 units/kg to a maximum of 100 units, divided in 4 injections around the pylorus. 100 units were diluted in 1 mL of normal saline to create a 10 unit/0.1 mL solution. The study excluded 27 patients who had IPBI but had insufficient data/follow-up or other disease processes.

Key findings:

  • 57 patients (67%) had partial or complete improvement in symptoms after IPBI. 10 (18%) patients were reported to have a complete response.
  • Twenty-six patients (31%) received repeat IPBI within 1 year, with only 6 patients receiving IPBI more than twice
  • “Baseline gastric emptying results did not predict IPBI response”

Limitations:

  • Retrospective study from a tertiary referral center
  • Lack of control group
  • Relatively small numbers –about 7 children per year. Given the large number of children with feeding problems followed by the Boston group, this is a highly-selected group
  • Lack of standardized evaluation to determine improvement
  • The authors state that time alone is not likely the reason for observed improvements because “our general practice at our institution is to pursue IPBI when other medical interventions have failed, and indeed these patients had been followed by our group for an average of slightly more than 1 year before receiving IPBI”

My take: Overall, I am impressed with the innovative ideas from Boston Children’s for pediatric patients with feeding problems. Yet, I am skeptical with regard to the use of IPBI for feeding difficulties; though, there may be a subset of children who benefit. Many children with complex feeding problems improve without the use of IPBI. Clearly, a randomized trial would be helpful.

Related blog posts:

Disclaimer: This blog, gutsandgrowth, assumes no responsibility for any use or operation of any method, product, instruction, concept or idea contained in the material herein or for any injury or damage to persons or property (whether products liability, negligence or otherwise) resulting from such use or operation. These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician.  Because of rapid advances in the medical sciences, the gutsandgrowth blog cautions that independent verification should be made of diagnosis and drug dosages. The reader is solely responsible for the conduct of any suggested test or procedure.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition

A Definite Maybe: Antibiotics for Acute Severe Colitis

D Turner et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2020; 26: 1733-1742. Antibiotic Cocktail for Pediatric Acute Severe Colitis and the Microbiome: The PRASCO Randomized Controlled Trial

This randomized study with 28 children with acute severe ulcerative colitis (ASUC) (PUCAI > /= 65) tried to determine if antibiotics with IV corticosteroids resulted in improved outcomes compared to IV corticosteroids alone. Most in the antibiotic group received the following for 3 weeks:

  • Vancomycin 250 mg 4/day (if less than 8 years, then 125 mg 4/day)
  • Amoxicillin 50 mg/kg/day divided into 3/day dosing (max 500 mg/dose)
  • Metronidazole 5 mg/kg/dose 3/day (max 250 mg/dose)
  • Doxycycline 2 mg/kg/dose 2/day (children less than 7 years rec’d ciprofloxacin 10 mg/kg 2/day -max 250 mg/dose)

Key findings:

  • The mean day-5 PUCAI was 25 ± 16.7 in the abx/steroid combination group vs 40.4 ± 20.4 in the steroid monotherapy group (P = 0.037)
  • Median calprotectin values were lower in the abx combination group at day 5 (1202 vs. 2170, P=0.24) and at discharge (1210 vs 1840, P=0.695)
  • The need for 2nd line rescue therapy was low in both groups: 19% in abx group and 17% in the steroid group
  • Within 1 year, 3/16 (19%) in the abx combination group had had a colectomy compared with 2/12 (17%) in the steroid monotherapy.
  • The authors found no correlation between microbial features/microbiome at admissioin and clinical response 5 days later

In their discussion, the authors note that if antibiotics had a treatment benefit as high as 30% in avoiding second-line treatment (ie, 14% in intervention arm), “randomization of 1228 children would be required to show such a difference with a power of 80%.”

My take: I agree with the authors who state that “antibiotics cannot be routinely recommended until larger studies demonstrate a reduced need for second-line treatment or colectomy.”

Related blog posts:

Ravenel Bridge, Charleston, SC

Disclaimer: This blog, gutsandgrowth, assumes no responsibility for any use or operation of any method, product, instruction, concept or idea contained in the material herein or for any injury or damage to persons or property (whether products liability, negligence or otherwise) resulting from such use or operation. These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician.  Because of rapid advances in the medical sciences, the gutsandgrowth blog cautions that independent verification should be made of diagnosis and drug dosages. The reader is solely responsible for the conduct of any suggested test or procedure.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition

What about Combination Therapy with Adalimumab?

M Matar et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2020; 26: 1627-1635. Free full text link: Combination Therapy of Adalimumab With an Immunomodulator Is Not More Effective Than Adalimumab Monotherapy in Children With Crohn’s Disease: A Post Hoc Analysis of the PAILOT Randomized Controlled Trial

Methods: Participants (n=78, ages 6-17 years) in this study were part of the PAILOT trial; they were naïve to biologic therapy with moderate to severe Crohn’s disease. This was a randomized controlled trial aimed to evaluate proactive vs reactive therapeutic drug monitoring in children with Crohn’s disease (CD) treated with adalimumab. 

Key findings:

  • There was no significant difference in the rates of sustained corticosteroid-free clinical remission (25/34, 73%, vs 28/44, 63%; P = 0.35) or sustained composite outcome of clinical remission, C-reactive protein ≤0.5 mg/dL, and calprotectin ≤150 µg/g (10/34, 29%, vs 14/44, 32%; P = 0.77) between the combination group and the monotherapy group, respectively.
  • Adalimumab trough concentrations and immunogenicity were not significantly different between groups. The rate of serious adverse events was not significantly different between groups but was numerically higher in the monotherapy group. The monotherapy group had three patients undergo ileo-cecal resection.

The discussion reviews a number of studies that have compared combination and monotherapy. One key point is that this study enrolled children who were naïve to biologic therapy; thus, combination therapy may be more useful in those who have failed a previous biologic, particularly if the loss of response was immune-mediated.

My take: This study indicates that combination therapy is likely not routinely needed in children who start adalimumab and who are naïve to biologic therapy. Another finding of interest is the relatively low sustained composite outcome of clinical remission, approximately 30; this outcome combined clinical remission with biological markers. ~30%

Pitt Street Bridge Park, Mt Pleasant SC

Surviving Pediatric Intestinal Transplantation

AK Balla et al. JPGN 2020; 71: 617-623. Factors Associated With 5- and 10-Year Survival After Intestinal Transplantation in Infants and Children

Methods: Retrospective chart review of 86 patients transplanted between 2003 and 2013

Key findings:

  • Intestinal graft survival was 71% and 65% after 5 and 10 years, respectively
  • Five-year graft survival was attained in 79% of patients with a history of anatomic intestinal failure (n=63) compared with 45% with functional intestinal failure (n=22) (P = 0.0055).
  • In their cohort, graft-versus-host and post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease were 11 times greater and 8 times greater in the functional compared with anatomic intestinal failure group. “Severe functional gastrointestinal diseases are more likely to be component of inherited multisystem disorders not fully correctable with ITx (intestinal transplantation) alone.”
  • Graft survival depends on avoidance of severe infectious and immunological complications including GVHD, whereas inclusion of a liver graft provides no obvious survival benefit

My take: In this cohorts, intestinal transplantation outcomes have improved for anatomic intestinal failure but not for functional intestinal failure. “Reduced success with functional intestinal failure may reflect inherently increased susceptibility to complications in this group.”

IBD Update (November 2020)

W Reinisch et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2020; 1562-1571.Full Text: Association of Biomarker Cutoffs and Endoscopic Outcomes in Crohn’s Disease: A Post Hoc Analysis From the CALM Study n=244.

  • The proportion of patients who achieved the primary end point CDEIS <4 and no deep ulcers was significantly greater for those with FC <250 µg/g (74%; P < 0.001)
  •  Fecal calprotectin <250 µg/g, CRP <5 mg/L, and CDAI <150 gave a sensitivity/specificity of 72%/63% and positive/negative predictive values of 86%/42% for CDEIS <4 and no deep ulcers 48 weeks after randomization

My take: Fecal calprotectin levels are useful for monitoring mucosal healing. Levels less than 250 are encouraging. Levels less than 100 are better.

Proportion of patients achieving mucosal healing (CDEIS <4) and no deep ulcers in (B) all patients by FC cutoff at week 48 after randomization

Related blog posts:

S Danese et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2020; 18: 2526-2534. Full text link: Effects of Apremilast, an Oral Inhibitor of Phosphodiesterase 4, in a Randomized Trial of Patients With Active Ulcerative Colitis “We performed a double-blind, phase 2 trial of adults with active UC for 3 months or more who were naïve to biologic therapy or had been failed by, could not tolerate, or had contraindications to conventional therapies.” n=168. Key findings:

  • Clinical remission was achieved at week 12 by 31.6% of patients in the 30 mg apremilast group and 12.1% of patients in the placebo group (P = .01). However, only 21.8% of patients in the 40 mg apremilast group achieved clinical remission at week 12 (P = .27 compared with placebo)
  • At week 52, clinical remission was achieved by 40.4% of patients initially assigned to the apremilast 30 mg group and 32.7% of patients initially assigned to the apremilast 40 mg group.

X Zhuang et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2020; 26: 1636-1647. Full text: Fecal Microbiota Alterations Associated With Clinical and Endoscopic Response to Infliximab Therapy in Crohn’s Disease

Methods: Microbiota was prospectively analyzed in 49 patients with active CD at baseline, week 6, and week 30

Key Findings:

  • Increased proportions of Lachnospiraceae and Blautia were associated with IFX efficacy; the combined increase of these taxa at week 6 showed 83.4% and 84.2% accuracy in predicting clinical response at weeks 14 and 30, respectively, with a predictive value of 89.1% in predicting endoscopic response at week 30
  • IFX diminished CD-related gut microbial dysbiosis by modifying microbiota composition and function

Histologic Healing and IBD Outcomes

Several recent studies recently evaluated outcomes based on histologic healing compared to endoscopic remission.

RK Pai et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2020; 18: 2510-2517. Full text link: Complete Resolution of Mucosal Neutrophils Associates With Improved Long-Term Clinical Outcomes of Patients With Ulcerative Colitis n=281.Key findings:

  • “We found histologic evidence of UC activity (Geboes score ≥ 2B.1) in biopsies from 182 patients (65%) and endoscopic evidence of UC activity in 149 patients (53%) (substantial agreement, κ = 0.60).”
  • “Histologic features of UC activity were associated with increased rates of systemic corticosteroid use, colectomy, and hospitalization in the entire cohort (P < .05 for all) and associated with increased rates of systemic corticosteroid use in an analysis limited to patients in endoscopic remission (P < .001).”

B Christensen et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2020; 18: 2518-2525. Full text link: Histologic Healing Is More Strongly Associated with Clinical Outcomes in Ileal Crohn’s Disease than Endoscopic Healing This was a a retrospective study of 101 patients with CD (52% male) isolated to the terminal ileum. Key findings:

  • At ileo-colonoscopy, 63% of patients had endoscopic healing and 55% had histologic evidence of healing. The level of agreement between endoscopic and histologic activity was fair (62%, K = 0.2250, P = .0064)
  • On multivariate analysis, only histologic healing was associated with decreased risk of clinical relapse (hazard ratio [HR], 2.05; 95% CI, 1.07–3.94; P = .031), medication escalation (HR, 2.17; 95% CI, 1.2–3.96; P = .011), and corticosteroid use (HR, 2.44; 95% CI, 1.17–5.09; P = .018).
Kaplan-Meier analysis of effect of endoscopic and histologic activity on (A) clinical relapse-free survival versus histologic healing, (B) clinical relapse-free survival versus endoscopic healing

D Kevans et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2020; 26: 1722-1729. Histological Markers of Clinical Relapse in Endoscopically Quiescent Ulcerative Colitis Key finding: In endoscopically quiescent UC (n=76), active histological inflammation …[is] adjunctive histological marker associated with increased likelihood of disease relapse. The associated editorial (1730-32 by Asher Kornbluth) quotes Voltaire: “A wise Italian says that the best is the enemy of the good.” He notes that there is “a very real risk of abandoning an effective drug while chasing the goal of some yet to be universally defined histologic remission.” Currently organizational guidelines (ACG, AGA, ECCO, IOIBD) do NOT suggest the use of histologic normalization as an endpoint at this point.

My take: These studies show that histologic healing in ileal Crohn’s disease and in ulcerative colitis are associated with better outcomes that endoscopic appearance. However, there are a lot questions because many patients, possibly a majority, will not achieve histologic healing despite aggressive treatment. Related technical issues include how many biopsies are needed to assess histology and having a validated histologic assessment.

Related blog posts:

Disclaimer: This blog, gutsandgrowth, assumes no responsibility for any use or operation of any method, product, instruction, concept or idea contained in the material herein or for any injury or damage to persons or property (whether products liability, negligence or otherwise) resulting from such use or operation. These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician.  Because of rapid advances in the medical sciences, the gutsandgrowth blog cautions that independent verification should be made of diagnosis and drug dosages. The reader is solely responsible for the conduct of any suggested test or procedure.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition.

In Case You Missed It: IBD Year in Review (Eric Benchimol)

I did not have the opportunity to hear this #NASPGHAN20 lecture but Dr. Benchimol has shared his slides. Link to Dropbox Slides: IBD Clinical Science: Year in Review

Some of the key points on slides (links to articles below):

Some screenshots:

Links to many of the referenced papers:


Related links:

“Surprise Billing for Colonoscopy: The Scope of the Problem”

JM Scheiman et al. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2020; https://doi.org/10.7326/M20-2928. Surprise Billing for Colonoscopy: The Scope of the Problem

Background: “Federal law eliminates consumer cost sharing for multiple methods of colorectal cancer screening, including colonoscopy when done by an in-network provider. However, some patients having screening incur considerable out-of-pocket costs because out-of-network bills are not included in federal mandates. “Surprise billing” articles are widespread in the research literature and lay press . To date, the frequency of unexpected patient costs for screening colonoscopy have yet to be rigorously quantified.”

This study with ~983,000 procedures, which was conducted between 2012-2017, shows that it is common to get additional charges from a screening colonoscopy (which is supposed to be covered). Despite using an in-network physician, these charges can be due to “out-of-network” costs from anesthesia or pathology. This can also occur when anesthesia bills the colonoscopy as a diagnostic procedure rather than as a screening procedure.

From Annals of Internal Medicine Twitter Feed

Related blog posts:

Nutrition Pearls -Fiber in Short Bowel and Good Growth with Cystic Fibrosis

One useful resource for NASPGHAN members (NASPGHAN Nutrition Pearls) has been the short monthly nutrition pearl videos (about 10 of them so far). Here are some pointers from the most recent of these.

In October: Fiber for Short Bowel Syndrome –Beneficial for those with a colon in continuity:

Commercial products with limited data supporting use in short bowel syndrome
All of the fiber products are fermented in colon and may be beneficial. Highlighted products are more likely to help with stool consistency (thickening).

In September: Growth in Cystic Fibrosis

Related blog posts for Short Bowel Syndrome:

Related blog posts for Cystic Fibrosis:

Ustekinumab Effectiveness for Ulcerative Colitis Over Two Years

R Pannacionne et al. AP&T. 2020; https://doi.org/10.1111/apt.16119. Full text link: Ustekinumab is effective and safe for ulcerative colitis through 2 years of maintenance therapy

Methods: Overall, 399 (adult) “responders to intravenous ustekinumab induction and who were randomised to maintenance therapy were treated in the long‐term extension (115 received subcutaneous placebo, 141 received ustekinumab 90 mg every 12 weeks [q12w], and 143 received ustekinumab 90 mg q8w). Placebo treatment was discontinued at unblinding after week 44”

Key Findings:

  • Symptomatic remission rates (stool frequency = 0/1; rectal bleeding = 0) at week 92 were, 64.5% and 67.6% in the ustekinumab q12w and q8w groups, respectively ((Intent-to-treat population).
  • At week 44 of maintenance, measures of UC disease activity (eg Mayo scores) were generally comparable among patients randomised to ustekinumab q12w and q8w with 46.1% and 52.4% in clinical remission and 56.7% and 61.5% with endoscopic improvement respectively
  • Among randomised patients treated in the long‐term extension, 78.7% and 83.2% of patients receiving q12w and q8w, respectively, attained symptomatic remission at week 92; >95% of patients in symptomatic remission at week 92 were corticosteroid‐free
  • No new safety signals were observed
Steroid-free Remission (Intent-to-treat population)

Related blog posts:

Disclaimer: This blog, gutsandgrowth, assumes no responsibility for any use or operation of any method, product, instruction, concept or idea contained in the material herein or for any injury or damage to persons or property (whether products liability, negligence or otherwise) resulting from such use or operation. These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician.  Because of rapid advances in the medical sciences, the gutsandgrowth blog cautions that independent verification should be made of diagnosis and drug dosages. The reader is solely responsible for the conduct of any suggested test or procedure.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition