Which Crohn’s Disease Ulcerations Are Harder to Treat — Small Bowel or Colon?

K Takenaka et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2020; 18: 1545-1552. Small Bowel Healing Detected by Endoscopy in Patients With Crohn’s Disease After Treatment With Antibodies Against Tumor Necrosis Factor

Methods: This was a post-hoc analysis of data from a clinical trial from 116 patients with CD (46 with ileal and 70 with ileocolonic type) who received induction and then maintenance therapy with anti-TNF agents (2013-18). Median age 29 years.

Key findings (based on findings from balloon-assisted enteroscopy )

  • Before treatment, small bowel ulcerations were present in 114 patients (98%); 42 patients (60%) with ileocolonic disease had colon ulcerations.
  • During maintenance therapy, 41/114 patients (36%) had small bowel endoscopic healing; all the patients with small bowel endoscopic healing also had colonic endoscopic healing.
  • Failure to achieve small bowel endoscopic healing was significantly associated with stricturing or penetrating disease (P = .014), lack of concomitant treatment with immunomodulators (P = .015), and having received previous treatment with an anti-TNF agents (P = .018).
  • The authors found that endoscopic healing was only 35% (36% for small bowel and 79% for colonic inflammation)

My take: Small bowel inflammation did not respond to treatment as well as colonic inflammation.  The implication of this study is that even in patients who are doing well clinically with treatment, disease progression especially in the small bowel may be ongoing.

Briefly noted: M Kayal et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2020; 26: 1079-1086.  Inflammatory Pouch Conditions Are Common After Ileal Pouch Anal Anastomosis in Ulcerative Colitis Patients.

  • In this retrospective study of adults with ulcerative colitis who had undergone total proctocolectomy (TPC) with ileal pouch anal anastomosis (IPAA). Acute pouchitis occurred in 205 patients (53%), 60 of whom (30%) progressed to chronic pouchitis.
  • Cuffitis and Crohn’s disease-like condition (CDLC) of the pouch occurred in 119 (30%) patients and 46 (12%) patients
  • Pouch failure was noted in 6.7%
  • Only one-third of patients with chronic pouchitiis, cuffitis and CDLC responded to biologic therapy

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