Purpose of review: This paper will review new developments in the etiology and management of gastric and duodenal diseases affecting children.
Recent findings: Despite dropping prevalence rates in developed nations, most new Helicobacter pylori infections are primarily acquired during childhood. Resistance to standard triple therapy and falling eradication rates are increasing problems for clinicians, necessitating the study of alternative treatment strategies. Eosinophilic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract are being increasingly recognized. Although population-based epidemiology and the natural history of eosinophilic diseases are not yet fully characterized, biologic therapies are in development for the treatment of these chronic, often refractory, conditions. A recent US National Institutes of Health celiac disease consensus conference suggested that infants' diet constituents and timing of solid food introduction are potential environmental influences in the development of celiac disease.
Summary: New methods of diagnosis and treatment are greatly impacting care of pediatric patients with gastric and duodenal diseases. Less invasive but highly accurate tools for diagnosis are becoming better validated. Early diagnosis and effective intervention in most gastroduodenal disorders of childhood can alter natural history and improve overall quality of life.