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Internal Medicine / Gastroenterology: General (Luminal) Gastroenterology

Luminal gastrointestinal disorders include motility disorders along the entire GI tract from swallowing to bowel function. It also includes disorders of the lumen, or lining of the GI tract, such as gastrointestinal bleeding, gastric ulcers, gastric esophageal reflux disease (GERD), and luminal immune disorders, such as celiac disease.

The specialists in luminal gastroenterology treat symptomatic disorders. Roughly 15% to 20% of the adult population has a symptomatic GI disorder, including heartburn, constipation, or diarrhea, among others.

Patients can self-refer or be referred by their primary physician.

FOR AN APPOINTMENT, CALL: 314-747-2066 OR 800 858-3541

Patients are seen at:

Center for Advanced Medicine
GI Center
4921 Parkview Place, Suite C, Floor 8
St. Louis, MO 63110

Our specialists include:

David Alpers, MD
Chien-Huan Chen, MD, PhD
Nicholas Davidson, MD, Division Chief

Dayna Early, M.D.

Alexandra Gutierrez, MD, MPH

Chandra Prakash Gyawali, M.D., MRCP

Rodney Newberry, MD

Greg Sayuk, M.D., M.P.H.

Noura Sharabash, MD

Sandeep Tripathy, MD, PhD

Jean Wang, MD, PhD

Gary Zuckerman, DO

Motility Disorders

Disorders in how food and liquids are moved along the gastrointestinal system are a major target for these specialists. Swallowing disorders, diverticulitis, constipation and diarrhea all involve motility issues. Washington University developed a high-resolution motility manometer not widely available in the area, and has experts in testing interpretation. They do a high volume of motility procedures and are able to evaluate reflux, swallowing disorders, and constipation problems so they can be most effectively treated. They also do endoscopic work for diagnosing and treating narrowing of parts of the GI system that may require dilation for normal function.

Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasis (HHT)

HHT is a genetic disorder that causes abnormalities of blood vessels. A small percentage of the blood vessels in a person with HHT have a specific type of abnormality. When it involves large blood vessels, it is called arteriovenous malformation (AVM). The larger telangiectases tend to occur in the internal organs of the body,including the mouth and the lining of the stomach and intestines (GI tract), lungs, liver and brain. Bleeding from the stomach or intestines is generally treated only if it causes anemia (low blood count.) Iron replacement therapy is the first line of defense. If iron therapy cannot control the anemia, transfusion and endoscopic treatments using photocoagulation or laser are options. Washington University has one of only six or seven HHT centers in North America. The luminal division serves as the GI contact for the center.

Celiac disease is a disorder resulting from an immune reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat and related grains. Celiac disease causes impaired absorption and digestion of nutrients through the small intestine. Symptoms include frequent diarrhea and weight loss. The most accurate test for celiac disease is a biopsy of the involved small bowel. Treatment is to avoid gluten in the diet.

The luminal division also leads the use of esophageal impedance measurement to diagnose non-acid reflux and gives the most accurate pH studies to help in that determination.

Patients wishing more information on gastrointestinal symptoms may visit the For liver cancer, visit: ACG.GI site. Those patients interested in research studies may talk to their physician about on-going research in the areas of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), swallowing disorders, GERD. Some research evaluates testing modalities, and other are treatment trials.

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Copyright 2015 Washington University School of Medicine
Copyright 2015 Washington University School of Medicine