Lukas Degen

Universitätsspital Basel, Bâle, Basel-City, Switzerland

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Publications (83)505.42 Total impact

  • Gastrointestinal Endoscopy 05/2014; 79(5):AB204. DOI:10.1016/j.gie.2014.05.033 · 4.90 Impact Factor
  • Ludwig T. Heuss, S P Sugandha, Lukas P. Degen
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    ABSTRACT: QUESTIONS UNDER STUDY / PRINCIPLES: Colonoscopies are complex procedures that depend greatly on the patient's cooperation and on the correct judgment of a tolerable amount of discomfort by the endoscopy team, even in sedated patients. Little is known regarding the accuracy of the patient comfort level assessments made by medical staff. We prospectively evaluated the degree of agreement between the assessments made by the endoscopists and endoscopy nurses and the assessments made by patients regarding their comfort level during the procedure. A total of 222 patients scheduled for routine colonoscopies assessed their preprocedural anxiety and the tolerability of the procedure. Endoscopists and nurses assessed the difficulty of the examination and the patient's level of discomfort. Assessments were performed using a 100-mm VAS. Overall, patients rated the procedure as tolerable. For 12% (27/222) of the patients, the examination was less tolerable (VAS >50 mm). The patients' judgment of tolerability was not related to the initial level of anxiety (r = 0.15). The scores of the endoscopists and nurses were better correlated with each other (r = 0.58) than with the patients' self-assessments (r = 0.37 and 0.35, respectively). Both endoscopists and nurses tended to overestimate the patients' discomfort. However, in 9% (19/222) of cases, the level of patient discomfort was considerably underestimated by at least one member of the team. Our study shows that the estimation of a patient's discomfort during a colonoscopy is difficult and that the comfort level may not be accurately determined in a considerable number of patients, including sedated patients.
    Schweizerische medizinische Wochenschrift 11/2012; 142. DOI:10.4414/smw.2012.13726 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In patients undergoing routine upper EGD, propofol is increasingly used without pharyngeal anesthesia because of its excellent sedative properties. It is unclear whether this practice is non-inferior in regard to ease of endoscopic intubation and patient comfort. To assess the relevance of local pharyngeal anesthesia regarding the ease of EGD performance in patients sedated with propofol as monotherapy. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, non-inferiority trial. One community hospital and one university hospital in Switzerland. We enrolled 300 consecutive adult patients undergoing elective EGD. Pharyngeal anesthesia with 4 squirts of lidocaine spray versus placebo spray immediately before propofol sedation. Number of gag reflexes (primary endpoint), number of intubation attempts, and degree of salivation during intubation (secondary endpoints) assessed by the endoscopists and staff. In the lidocaine group, 122 patients (82%) had no gag events, and 25 patients had a total of 39 gag events, whereas in the placebo group 104 patients (71%) had no gag events, and 43 patients had a total of 111 gag events. The rate ratio of gagging with quasi-likelihood estimation of placebo compared with lidocaine was 2.85 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.42-6.19; P = .005). In adjusted logistic regression analysis, the odds ratio for gagging for placebo pharyngeal anesthesia compared with lidocaine was 1.9 (95% CI, 1.03-3.54). The number of intubation attempts and the degree of salivation were similar in both groups. Two patients in the placebo group experienced oxygen desaturation and needed short-term mask ventilation. The level of sedation and possible long-term side effects of pharyngeal anesthesia were not assessed. Topical pharyngeal anesthesia reduces the gag reflex in patients sedated with propofol even though it does not seem to have an influence on the ease of the procedure and on patient or endoscopist satisfaction in adequately sedated patients.
    Gastrointestinal endoscopy 12/2011; 74(6):1207-14. DOI:10.1016/j.gie.2011.07.072 · 4.90 Impact Factor
  • Arzneimittel-Forschung 10/2011; 57(10):645-658. DOI:10.1055/s-0031-1296664 · 0.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKROUND & AIMS: Topical corticosteroids are effective in inducing clinical and histologic remission in patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). However, the best long-term management strategy for this chronic inflammatory disease has not been determined. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 50-week trial, we evaluated in 28 patients the efficacy of twice-daily swallowed budesonide (0.25 mg each) to maintain quiescent EoE in remission. Pretreatment and posttreatment activity was assessed clinically, endoscopically, histologically, immunohistologically, and by endosonography. The primary end point was the therapy's ability to maintain EoE in histologic remission. Secondary end points were efficacy in symptom control, prevention of tissue remodeling, and safety. In patients given low-dose budesonide, the load of esophageal eosinophils increased from 0.4 to 31.8 eosinophils/high-power field (P = .017). In patients given placebo, the load increased from 0.7 to 65.0 eosinophils/high-power field (P = .0001); this increase was significantly greater than in patients given budesonide (P = .024). The symptom scores developed in a similar manner in the 2 groups. Budesonide, but not placebo, reduced noneosinophilic markers of inflammation, epithelial cell apoptosis, and remodeling events. Compared with control individuals, patients had significantly thickened esophageal walls, based on endosonography (3.05 vs 2.18 mm; P < .0001). Budesonide therapy was associated with a significant reduction in mucosal thickness (0.75-0.45 mm; P = .025), but epithelial thickness remained stable (261.22 vs 277.23 μm; P = .576). No serious adverse events occurred. Low-dose budesonide is more effective than placebo in maintaining EoE in histologic and clinical remission. Signs of esophageal remodeling showed a trend toward normalization. Long-term administration of topical corticosteroids was well tolerated without induction of epithelial atrophy.
    Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology: the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association 05/2011; 9(5):400-9.e1. DOI:10.1016/j.cgh.2011.01.017 · 6.53 Impact Factor
  • Chapter: Proktologie
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    ABSTRACT: An der Defäkation und Kontinenzerhaltung sind mehrere Strukturen in einem komplexen Zusammenspiel beteiligt. Das Anorektum, aber auch der Dickdarm erfüllen dabei wichtige Aufgaben. Im folgenden Kapitel werden physiologische Funktionsabläufe in ihren Hauptprinzipien erörtert und deren Diagnostik zusammen mit möglichen Störungen vorgestellt.
    12/2010: pages 585-644;
  • Chapter: Pankreas
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    ABSTRACT: Das Pankreas entsteht aus einer Verschmelzung zweier Anlagen des primitiven Vorderdarms. Störungen der regelhaften Organogenese erklären Pancreas anulare und divisum sowie den Ductus pancreaticus accessorius. Die retroperitoneal gelegene Drüse besitzt enge topographische Beziehungen zu Duodenum, den Gallenwegen, der Milz und zu den Oberbauchgefäßen. Gefäßvarianten besonders der arteriellen Durchblutung von Leber und Querkolon sind bei Pankreasresektionen zu bedenken und zu berücksichtigen. Hauptfunktion des exokrinen Pankreas besteht in der Sekretion von bikarbonathaltiger Flüssigkeit und von Verdauungsenzymen. Man unterscheidet zwischen der digestiven und der interdigestiven (postprandialen) Sekretionsphase des Pankreas. Beide Phasen werden mit verschiedenen Motilitätsaktivitäten des oberen Magen-Darm-Traktes und des Gallenwegssystems während der kephalen, gastrischen und intestinalen Verdauungsphase koordiniert.
    12/2010: pages 803-861;
  • L. Degen, Ch. Beglinger
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    ABSTRACT: Obwohl nuklearmedizinische Verfahren vielfach anderen radiologischen Techniken in der anatomischen Bildauflösung unterlegen sind, bieten sie im klinischen Alltag in spezifischen Situationen wichtige Vorteile. Ihren Stellenwert finden sie vor allem in der Analyse von Funktionsabläufen, aber auch in der Diagnostik von Tumoren. Neben Grundprinzipien werden im nachfolgenden Kapitel neuere nuklearmedizinische Methoden dargestellt, deren technische Besonderheiten hervorgehoben und vor allem die klinischen Indikationen kritisch beleuchtet.
    12/2010: pages 63-72;
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    ABSTRACT: Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the esophagus characterized by dense tissue eosinophilia; it is refractory to proton pump inhibitor therapy. EoE affects all age groups but most frequently individuals between 20 and 50 years of age. Topical corticosteroids are effective in pediatric patients with EoE, but no controlled studies of corticosteroids have been reported in adult patients. We performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the effect of oral budesonide (1 mg twice daily for 15 days) in adolescent and adult patients with active EoE. Pretreatment and posttreatment disease activity was assessed clinically, endoscopically, and histologically. The primary end point was reduced mean numbers of eosinophils in the esophageal epithelium (number per high-power field [hpf] = esophageal eosinophil load). Esophageal biopsy and blood samples were analyzed using immunofluorescence and immunoassays, respectively, for biomarkers of inflammation and treatment response. A 15-day course of therapy significantly decreased the number of eosinophils in the esophageal epithelium in patients given budesonide (from 68.2 to 5.5 eosinophils/hpf; P < .0001) but not in the placebo group (from 62.3 to 56.5 eosinophils/hpf; P = .48). Dysphagia scores significantly improved among patients given budesonide compared with those given placebo (5.61 vs 2.22; P < .0001). White exudates and red furrows were reversed in patients given budesonide, based on endoscopy examination. Budesonide, but not placebo, also reduced apoptosis of epithelial cells and molecular remodeling events in the esophagus; no serious adverse events were observed. A 15-day course of treatment with budesonide is well tolerated and highly effective in inducing a histologic and clinical remission in adolescent and adult patients with active EoE.
    Gastroenterology 11/2010; 139(5):1526-37, 1537.e1. DOI:10.1053/j.gastro.2010.07.048 · 13.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lymphogranuloma venereum is a sexually transmitted disease caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, serotypes L1, L2 and L3. The classical clinical manifestation is a painful inguinal lymphadenopathy, resulting without treatment in severe complications. Over the last years, however, the emergence of massive ulcerative proctitis has been observed, especially in men who have sex with men. Because the clinical symptoms are unspecific, Chlamydia trachomatis should actively be looked for. Reliable and rapid molecular tests have now been established to diagnose lymphogranuloma venereum. The therapeutic recommendation is tetracycline for 3 weeks. We present 5 cases to illustrate this disease.
    Der Internist 10/2010; 52(5):584-9. DOI:10.1007/s00108-010-2686-2 · 0.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Colonoscopy (CSPY) for colorectal cancer screening has several limitations. Colon Capsule Endoscopy (PillCam Colon, CCE) was compared to CSPY under routine screening conditions. We performed a prospective, single-center pilot study at a University Hospital. Data were obtained from November 2007 until May 2008. Patients underwent CCE on Day 1 and CSPY on Day 2. Outcomes were evaluated regarding sensitivity and specificity of polyp detection rate, with a significance level set at >5 mm. 59 individuals were included in this study, the results were evaluable in 56 patients (males 34, females 22; median age 59). CCE was complete in 36 subjects. Polyp detection rate for significant polyps was 11% on CSPY and 27% on CCE.6/56 (11%) patients had polyps on CSPY not detected on CCE (miss rate).Overall sensitivity was 79% (95% confidence interval [CI], 61 to 90), specificity was 54% (95% CI, 35 to 70), positive predictive value (PPV) was 63% and negative predictive value (NPV) was 71%. Adjusted to significance of findings, sensitivity was 50% (95% CI, 19 to 81), specificity was 76% (95% CI, 63 to 86), PPV was 20% and NPV was 93%. In comparison to the gold standard, the sensitivity of CCE for detection of relevant polyps is low, however, the high NPV supports its role as a possible screening tool. NCT00991003.
    BMC Gastroenterology 06/2010; 10:66. DOI:10.1186/1471-230X-10-66 · 2.11 Impact Factor
  • Gastroenterology 05/2010; 138(5). DOI:10.1016/S0016-5085(10)60565-3 · 13.93 Impact Factor
  • Gastroenterology 05/2009; 136(5). DOI:10.1016/S0016-5085(09)61549-3 · 13.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Serum protein electrophoresis is used in clinical practice to identify patients with multiple myeloma and other serum protein disorders. It is an inexpensive and easy-to-perform screening procedure. Electrophoresis separates serum proteins based on their physical properties and identifies morphologic patterns in response to acute and chronic inflammation, various malignancies, liver or renal failure, and hereditary protein disorders. For gastroenterologists, the use of serum protein electrophoresis may be helpful in the diagnosis of both common diseases with unusual presentations and rare disorders with typical presentations. Therefore, it represents an ideal screening tool.
    Digestion 05/2009; 79(4):203-10. DOI:10.1159/000212077 · 2.03 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 02/2009; 123(2). DOI:10.1016/j.jaci.2008.12.1037 · 11.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to establish an immunohistochemical protein profile to complement preoperative staging and identify rectal cancer patients at high-risk of adverse outcome. Immunohistochemistry was performed on a tissue microarray including 482 rectal cancers for APAF-1, EphB2, MST1, Ki67, p53, RHAMM, RKIP and CD8(+) tumour infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). After resampling of the data and multivariable analysis, the most reproducible markers were combined and prognosis evaluated as stratified by pT and pN status. In multivariable analysis, only positive RHAMM (P<0.001; HR=1.94 (1.44-2.61)) and loss of CD8(+) TILs (P=0.006; HR=0.63 (0.45-0.88)) were independent prognostic factors. The 5-year cancer-specific survival rate for RHAMM+/TIL- patients was 30% (95% CI 21-40%) compared to 76% (95% CI: 66-84%) for RHAMM-/TIL+ patients (P<0.001). The 5-year cancer-specific survival of T1/T2/RHAMM+/TIL- patients was 48% (20-72%) and significantly worse compared to T3/T4/RHAMM-/TIL+ patients (71% 95% CI 56-82%); P=0.039). Stratifying by nodal status, only N+/RHAMM+/TIL- patients demonstrated a significantly worse prognosis than N0/RHAMM+/TIL- patients (P=0.005). Loss of CD8(+) TILs was predictive of local recurrence in RHAMM+ tumours (P=0.009) only. RHAMM and CD8(+) TILs may assist in identifying early stage rectal cancer patients facing a particularly poor prognosis and who may derive a benefit from preoperative therapy.
    British Journal of Cancer 12/2008; 99(10):1712-7. DOI:10.1038/sj.bjc.6604729 · 4.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Yacon is a root crop which contains high amounts of fructooligosaccharides (FOS). The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of yacon syrup on colon transit time in healthy volunteers. In a placebo-controlled, double-blind study yacon was administered to 16 healthy individuals (8 males, 8 females) in a dose of 20 g daily (equal to 6.4 g FOS) in a 2-week crossover design. Each period was interrupted by a 2-week wash-out phase. Transit time was assessed by a radio-opaque marker technique. Transit time (mean +/- SEM) through the gastrointestinal tract was significantly decreased from 59.7 +/- 4.3 to 38.4 +/- 4.2 h (p < 0.001). Yacon was well tolerated with an excellent side effect profile. Bloating is not an uncommon side effect observed with FOS, but bloating-related disturbances were not significantly more often reported with yacon compared to placebo. Stool frequency increased from 1.1 +/- 0.1 to 1.3 +/- 0.2 times per day and the consistency showed a tendency for softer stools as assessed by a numerical depicted stool protocol. Neither parameter did, however, reach statistical significance. Yacon markedly accelerates colonic transit in healthy individuals. Further studies are needed in constipated patients to confirm these preliminary data. Due to the low caloric content of yacon, the root could be a useful treatment in constipated diabetics or obese patients.
    Digestion 09/2008; 78(1):30-3. DOI:10.1159/000155214 · 2.03 Impact Factor
  • Shajan Peter, Lukas Degen
    Gastrointestinal endoscopy 08/2008; 68(1):147-8. DOI:10.1016/j.gie.2008.01.015 · 4.90 Impact Factor
  • Lukas Degen, Christoph Beglinger
    Gastroenterologie up2date 06/2008; 4(2):155-167. DOI:10.1055/s-2008-1077293
  • Gastroenterology 04/2008; 134(4). DOI:10.1016/S0016-5085(08)60488-6 · 13.93 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
505.42 Total Impact Points


  • 1998–2014
    • Universitätsspital Basel
      • Institut für Pathologie
      Bâle, Basel-City, Switzerland
  • 2010
    • Universität Bern
      • Institute of Animal Pathology
      Berna, Bern, Switzerland
  • 1996–2004
    • Universität Basel
      • Department of Chemistry
      Bâle, Basel-City, Switzerland
    • Mayo Clinic - Rochester
      Rochester, Minnesota, United States