Editor-in-Chief & Deputy Editor 2019-2021





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Acta Gastroenterologica Belgica is supported by grants from its major sponsors


Acta Gastroenterologica Belgica is supported by grants

from its major sponsors

Dr Falk Pharma







Acta Gastro-Enterologica Belgica is published in

partnership with the following national societies









Eosinophils in the gastrointestinal tract : friends or foes ?

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Eosinophils play an important role in the mucosal immune system of the gastrointestinal tract under resting and under inflammatory conditions. Under steady-state conditions, the mucosa of the digestive tract is the only organ harboring a substantial number of eosinophils, which, if need be, get activated and exert several effector and immunoregulatory functions. The precise function of these latephase inflammatory cells is not yet completely understood. Nevertheless, it has recently been demonstrated that lipopolysaccharides from gram-negative bacteria activate eosinophils to rapidly release mitochondrial DNA in the extracellular space. Released mitochondrial DNA and eosinophil granule proteins form extracellular structures able to bind and inactivate bacteria. These findings suggest a novel mechanism of eosinophil-mediated innate immune responses that might be important in maintaining the intestinal barrier function. Moreover, eosinophils also play a crucial role in several inflammatory conditions, such as intestinal infections, immune-mediated inflammations and hypersensitivity reactions. Under chronic inflammatory conditions, the ability of the eosinophils to induce repair can lead to pathological sequelae in the tissue, such as esophageal remodeling in eosinophilic esophagitis. It is established that the uncontrolled eosinophilic inflammation induces fibrosis, esophageal wall thickening and strictures leading to damage that results in a loss of esophageal function. One potential mechanism of this remodeling is so-called ‘epithelial mesenchymal transition’, which is triggered by eosinophils and is potentially reversible under successful anti-eosinophil treatment. Therefore, eosinophils may act either as friends or as foes, depending on the microenvironment. (Acta gastro enterol. belg., 2012, 75, 310-315). [Product Details...]

Genomic instability in ulcerative colitis : a prerequisite for cancer in the inflammatory colon ?

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Ulcerative colitis (UC), a chronic and relapsing idiopathic inflammatory disease of the colon, although not associated with an increased mortality compared to the general population, has a substantial morbidity leading to sizable health care costs, as it carries an increased risk for development of colorectal cancer (CRC). The pathophysiology behind this carcinogenic pathway is multifactorial. This review summarizes the major pathogenetic steps from which the inflamed colonic epithelium is transformed to a dysplastic and/or cancerous one. The role of the inflammatory and immune system, the oxidative stress generated as well as the genomic stability observed in UC-associated CRC is presented so as to provide a more spherical view of the tumorigenic process and, if possible, offer new diagnostic approaches for the early detection of CRC. (Acta gastro enterol. belg., 2012, 75, 293-299). [Product Details...]

Halitosis – a common medical and social problem. A review on pathology, diagnosis and treatment

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Bad breath is a condition that has health and social implications. This paper provides a comprehensive review of the classification of halitosis, it’s etiology, it’s prevalence, diagnosis and treatment strategies for the condition. Halitosis is affecting about 25-30% of world’s population. It includes categories of genuine halitosis, pseudo-halitosis and halitophobia. It is believed that in 80-90% of cases halitosis origins in the oral cavity and the most common causes are : gingival pathologies, caries and poor oral hygiene. Extraoral sources of halitosis are responsible for 10-20% of all cases and are caused by poor diet, alcohol abuse, tobacco smoking, certain drugs and diseases of other parts of digestive tract as well as some systemic conditions. Diagnostics of halitosis includes subjective methods (examiner’s sense of smell) and objective methods (instrumental analysis). Simple, subjective examination is considered a “golden standard” in clinical practice. In case of pathological halitosis identifying the direct cause of halitosis is essential. After excluding, or after successful treatment, of all oral pathologies, in case of remaining fetor ex ore identification and treatment of halitosis often requires multidisciplinary approach. Many unknowns remain in causes and mechanisms of halitosis. It can significantly impair quality of life, social interactions, lead directly to depression, low self-esteem or other mood disorders, therefore it is important to properly identify, treat and continue research on halitosis. (Acta gastro enterol. belg., 2012, 75, 300-309). [Product Details...]

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