Gastroenterology

Leadership

Karen Murray, MD
Professor
Division Chief
Director, Fellowship Program

Overview

The program of Gastroenterology at Seattle Childrenís is a group of multidisciplinary professionals who are dedicated to the care and treatment of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, liver, and pancreas in children.

Clinical Programs

The Gastroenterology Division provides excellent care in the areas of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Celiac Disease (gluten intolerance), Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), malabsorption disorders (problems with digestion or absorption of nutrients), acute and chronic liver disease (hepatitis), liver and intestine transplantation, pancreatic insufficiency, acute and chronic pancreatitis, and nutrition evaluation and management.

For appointments, please call: Central Scheduling (206) 987-2521 option 1

Specialty Lab Services Offered

Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

  • Upper intestinal endoscopy commonly known as EGD – an exam of the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and upper small intestine.
  • Colonoscopy – an exam of the colon and lower part of the small intestine lining
  • Tissue biopsy of the large and small intestine – a small tissue sample is taken from the lining of the esophagus, stomach, small or large intestine using an endoscope
  • Endoscopic interventional procedures:
    • Endoscopic feeding tube placement
    • Foreign object removal
    • Widening a narrow part of esophagus (esophageal dilation)
    • Polyp removal
    • Treating gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Capsule endoscopy – a patient swallows a tiny pill that allows doctors to see images of the intestinal tract
  • ERCP – a specialized endoscopic test that evaluates the connecting tubes of the liver, gall bladder and pancreas. This is done for both testing and treatment.

pH Probe Monitoring

  • A 24–hour test using a small, soft tube inserted through the nose that measures the amount of acid reflux in the esophagus.

Liver Biopsy

A tissue sample is taken from the liver to evaluate acute and chronic liver diseases.

Motility Testing

  • Esophageal manometry – a procedure to determine how well the muscle of the esophagus works.
  • Anorectal manometry – a procedure to evaluate the function of the lower intestine, used to diagnose the cause of chronic constipation or fecal incontinenece.

Related Services

  • General Surgery
  • Transplantation

Research Programs

Our research programs center on the diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life of children and adolescents with gastrointestinal and liver diseases. Current topics of focus include therapy trials for viral hepatitis, acute liver failure, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and inflammatory bowel disease. We also have ongoing research in the area of liver transplantation and immune activity in maternal micochimerism in inflammatory bowel disease and biliary atresia. Many of these studies are being performed in collaboration with other centers around the United States.

Training Programs

We are a world-class pediatric gastroenterology group with a very strong national reputation and involvement. Our group is affiliated with an adult gastroenterology group at the University of Washington, which is regarded as one of the top gastroenterology divisions in the country. As the only academic pediatric gastroenterology group in the Pacific Northwest, we serve a broad geographic area and have a large patient population with chronic gastrointestinal and liver disease. Our program includes active inflammatory bowel disease, hepatology and liver transplantation, and has one of the few intestinal transplant programs in the country. Our affiliations with University of Washington Medical Center and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center make research opportunities among the best in the world.

Please visit the Childrenís Pediatric Gastroenterology Fellowship page for more information.