Background Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a common disease in
Australia and frequently encountered in primary care. Major
developments in investigation and management have taken place.
Objective This article aims to review some recent breakthroughs in IBD
investigation and management.
Discussion Diagnosis involves a changing combination of enhanced
traditional techniques with new diagnostic tools, typically blood
and stool testing with improved endoscopy and new radiological
tests. Management has seen the introduction of new powerful
biologic therapies, greater understanding in the way we use
older therapies, and a focus on preventing complications such
as malignancy or infection. Treatment philosophy now attempts
to alter the natural history of the disease and prevent long
term complications. The importance of associated, previously
overlooked factors is being increasingly recognised. Only by
taking a long term, patient centred multidisciplinary approach
will an optimal outlook for the majority of patients with IBD be
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