gastroenterology

gastroenterology

[gas-troh-en-tuh-rol-uh-jee]

Medical specialty dealing with digestion and the digestive system. In the 17th century Jan Baptista van Helmont conducted the first scientific studies in the field; William Beaumont published his own observations in 1833. Lavage (washing out the stomach) and endoscopy were developed in the 19th century, and endoscopy and X rays with a contrast medium were first used to visualize the stomach and digestive organs in the 1890s. Gastroenterologists diagnose and treat disorders of the stomach, intestines, liver, and pancreas, including ulcers, tumours, inflammatory diseases (including ulcerative colitis and ileitis), and rectal disorders.

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Gastroenterology (MeSH heading ) is the branch of medicine whereby the digestive system and its disorders are studied. Etymologically, the name is a combination of three Ancient Greek words gastros (stomach), enteron (intestine), and logos (reason).

Diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract, which includes the organs from mouth to anus, along the alimentary canal, are the focus of this specialty. Physicians practicing in this field of medicine are called gastroenterologists. Important advances have been made in the last fifty years, contributing to rapid expansion of its scope.

Hepatology, or hepatobiliary medicine, encompasses the study of the liver, pancreas, and biliary tree and is traditionally considered a sub-specialty.

History

Citing from Egyptian papyri, Nunn identified significant knowledge of gastrointestinal diseases among practising physicians during the periods of the pharaohs. Irynakhty, of the tenth dynasty, c. 2125 B.C., was a court physician specialising in gastroenterology and proctology.

Among ancient Greeks, Hippocrates attributed digestion to concoction. Galen's concept of the stomach having four faculties was widely accepted up to modernity in the eighteenth century.

Eighteenth century:

Nineteenth century:

Twentieth century:

Twenty-first century:

Disease classification

1. International Classification of Disease(ICD 2007)/WHO classification:

  • Chapter XI,Diseases of the digestive system,(K00-K93)

2. MeSH subject Heading:

  • Gastroenterology (G02.403.776.409.405)
  • Gastroenterological diseases(C06.405)

3. National Library of Medicine Catalogue(NLM classification 2006):

  • Digestive system(W1)

Gastroenterological societies

References

External links

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