NASPGHAN22: History of Pediatric GI & Selected Slides from the William F Balistreri Lecture (Part 1)

Shortly before attending medical school, I read a book by Lewis Thomas called The Youngest Science. The narrative explains the evolving of medicine into a sophisticated science. The recent Balistreri lecture (given by Dr. Balistreri himself) provides a similar narrative but focused on our specific subspecialty.

Here are some of the slides:

It was not until 1982 that the role of H pylori was recognized as a causative agent for peptic ulcer disease

NASPGHAN Toolbox App -Review

To all my colleagues and to others who follow this blog, I wish you a happy new year.  Thank you to all of you, especially to those who provide feedback to help improve the content and usefulness.

Recently NASPGHAN released an App, titled NASPGHAN Toolbox.  There are some very useful features but also some areas where more work is needed.

Work in progress: Many of the algorithms that are listed are dated and no longer accurate.  To list a few examples:

  • The UC Algorithm suggests holding off on anti-TNF therapy in severe disease for 7-14 days
  • The EoE Algorithm lists only diet treatments and topical steroids and does not list PPIs as a treatment option
  • The GERD guidelines are from 2001 rather than more recent recommendations

Also, this ‘algorithms’ section should probably be renamed into ‘algorithms and tables’ as a large amount of the information is not algorithmic.

What I Like:

  • Scores and Calculators for items like MELD score, PUCAI score, Mayo score
  • Extensive patient education handouts and image atlas -this could facilitate “airdrop”ing or messaging of these items to families.  (To be picky –the normal esophagus image could be better)
  • Formula charts –though the lists for infants and older children could be more comprehensive
  • Bristol charts (especially children version) -listed in algorithm section

My take: This is a very good start and a very helpful toolbox for pediatric gastroenterologists but I would not rely on the algorithms.


Eosinophilic Esophagitis Slide Set

Recently an updated slide set from NASPGHAN foundation has been completed.  The following link is to the core set (105 slides) (link provided with permission from NASPGHAN): EoE Core slide set 2014

Also, new: Management guidelines from the ESPGHAN working group have recently been published (JPGN 2014; 58: 107-18).


I had a few free minutes so I decided to take a look at a bunch of upcoming lectures from the 2013 NASPGHAN upcoming meeting.  With electronic media, it is easy to take a quick glance.  Here’s the master link to all of the following talks:

Annual Meeting page.

Some of the power point lectures that I’ve seen so far:

  • Is my PPI dangerous for me? Eric Hassall MBChB, University of British Columbia One point in his slides that I had not seen much about was a hypothesis that PPI use may predispose to the development of eosinophilic esophagitis by allowing food proteins to be more intact ( attributed to Merwat, Spechler. Am J Gastro ’09).  He explains that “acid reflux” is a clever marketing term and has a slide with Madmen actors.  If there is “acid,” one must need acid suppression.
  • My child doesn’t go to school Lynne Walker MD, Vanderbilt University.  Lynne shows an interesting fax from a parent that asks if the problem is physical, how will she help? And, if it is psychological, how can this be remedied?  She outlines a lot of pain theory and indicates that parents need to become health coaches, avoid catastrophizing (?spelling), and encourages mental health evaluation.  Use the parents words ‘I’m going to refer xxx for relaxation and stress management.’
  • My child’s H. pylori will not go away – (the resistant bug) Benjamin Gold MD, Children’s Center for Digestive Healthcare. Ben manages to stuff so much information into his talk.  His talk is like one of those clown cars where more and more people keep coming out.  He has slides with worldwide resistance maps, slides with treatment regimens and algorithms, and the reasons for treatment failure. Perhaps I can convince him to give a live preview.
  • Administrative/executive functioning Richard Colletti MD, Fletcher Allen Healthcare. Offers personal and pragmatic advice for career advancement.  His slides indicate that he started his GI fellowship at age 40.  One of his quotes, “80% of success is showing up” (Woody Allen) is definitely true.  It’s pretty much akin to what I learned about success in medical school.  You need the three As: availability, affability, and ability.  My mentor said the first was what people needed most.
  • The changing face of intestinal transplantation
    Simon Horslen MD, Seattle Children’s Hospital.  Lecture notes that number of intestinal transplants have decreased dramatically, particularly in children. In 2012, only about 100 intestinal transplants were performed whereas it had peaked at nearly 200.  Much of the credit is due to intestinal rehabilitation work and adjustments in parenteral nutrition (eg. lipid minimization, line care).  Two most common reasons for intestinal transplantation at this time are gastroschisis and volvulus.
  •  Gluten sensitivity: Fact or fiction Alessio Fasano MD, MassGeneral Hospital for Children. This blog has covered a lot of the same material, but Alessio’s slides are pretty impressive.  Also, I was not aware that Lady Gaga consumes a gluten-free diet
  • Controversies in parenteral nutrition Christopher Duggan MD, Boston Children’s Hospital.  This lecture provides a timely update on nutrient deficiencies due to component shortages and discusses lipid minimization compared with fish oil-based lipid emulsions.
  • Vitamin D and immunity James Heubi MD, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center.  In the beginning of the slides, Jim provides a very user-friendly definition of an expert and a suitable picture.  He indicates that in 2011 there were 3746 vitamin D publications but inexplicably only chooses to review a tiny fraction.

At the time of this posting, I haven’t had a chance to look through these talks: