Topic of the Month: Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Across London, paediatric trainees and trainers are focusing on paediatric gastroenterology and hepatology. Here are some ideas to think about.

Gastrointestinal complaints are common in general paediatrics. Abdominal pain, infantile colic, and prolonged jaundice are some of the most frequent presenting complaints in paediatric ED and are very common in the community – prevalence of recurrent abdominal pain, for example, is estimated at 10-15%.

Most presentations affecting the GI tract or liver are managed in primary or secondary care, but rare disorders and complex cases require diagnosis and long-term management by paediatric gastroenterology and hepatology MDTs. Tertiary care may include diagnostic or interventional endoscopy, specialist nutritional input, or use of immunosuppressant medications.

Paediatric gastroenterologists work closely with dieticians, specialist nurses, and other team members to manage inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal failure, and complex cases of more common GI disorders. Specialists in hepatology care for children with acute and chronic liver failure, and patients undergoing liver transplant.

Trainees can pursue an interest in gastroenterology through a SPIN module, or by applying for GRID subspecialty training.


Paediatric Curriculum

Examples of illustrations from the 2018 curriculum:

Level 1 & 2:

  • Recognise and investigate common causes of malabsorption and malnutrition
  • Recognise and investigate common GI presentations such as constipation, reflux, abdominal pain
  • Recognise features of inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease

Courses and Resources

  • RSM Day: Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Tuesday 17th April 2018
  • BSPGHAN taster day, Nottingham, 15 June 2018
  • ESPGHAN GI summer school: 27-30 June 2018
  • British Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition website ( has guidelines and more information on subspecialty training.

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