Predicting Symptom Improvement after Novel Endoscopic Treatment for Gastroparesis

Principal Investigator: Aziz Aadam, MD Gastroparesis is a debilitating condition that can cause persistent nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain due to delayed stomach (gastric) emptying. The inability to eat or drink can lead to malnutrition and reduced quality of life. Current treatments are limited in both effectiveness and durability. A minimally invasive endoscopic procedure called G-POEM has recently shown promise in improving spasms of the sphincter muscle that prevent proper gastric emptying. G-POEM involves cutting this smooth band of muscle—that connects the stomach to the small intestine—to prevent further spasms and to allow the stomach to empty. Dr. Cai hopes to identify which gastroparesis patients would most likely benefit from this treatment using two novel methods: EndoFLIP, a probe that measures sphincter flexibility and antroduodenal manometry (ADM), a catheter that measures pressures throughout the upper gastrointestinal tract. Her team will look for specific EndoFLIP and ADM metrics that can be used to more effectively select patients for and predict improvement after...

Atrantil Supplement for Methane Predominate Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

Principal Investigator: Darren Brenner, MD Intestinal bacterial overgrowth (IBO) occurs when excessive amounts of bacteria build up in the small intestine (which is usually nearly sterile). These bacteria ferment ingested food, producing hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide. These intestinal gases can induce GI symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating, distention, diarrhea, and constipation. Antibiotics often help, but for some patients, disruptive digestive symptoms will persist. IBO is subcategorized into two types: 1.) small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and 2.) intestinal methanogenic overgrowth. Recent studies suggest that increased methane production may come from the overgrowth of a specific type of bacteria. No current therapies exist to treat methane predominate IBO. An initial study of the herbal supplement Atrantil has shown promise. Investigating the potential benefit of this “holistic” treatment, Dr. Brenner will conduct a trial of Atrantil in 30 patients at the Northwestern Medicine Digestive Health Center. Researchers will evaluate Atrantil’s impact on reducing methane levels, lessening symptoms, and enhancing quality of life. The team believes Atrantil could offer an inexpensive and safe treatment for...