Improving Natural History of Pediatric Crohn’s Disease with Biologic Therapy -Two Studies

D Ley et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2022; 20: 2588-2597. Open Access! New Therapeutic Strategies Have Changed the Natural History of Pediatric Crohn’s Disease: A Two-Decade Population-Based Study

This retrospective study dating back to 1988 examined 1007 patients diagnosed with CD who were followed up for a median duration of 8.8 years.

Key findings:

  • The risk for intestinal resection at 5 years decreased significantly over time (P1, 35%; P2, 31%; and P3, 22%; P = .0003. This decrease in resections coincided with increased use of immunosuppressive (IS) and anti-TNF therapy: IS and anti-TNF exposure rate at 5 years increased from 33.9% (in P1) to 76.5% (in P3) and from 0% (in P1) to 50.5% (in P3).
  • The risk for progression from inflammatory to stricturing behavior decreased significantly over time (P1, 27%; P2, 28%; and P3, 20%)

LE Targownik et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2022; 20: 2607-2618. Earlier Anti-TNF Initiation Leads to Long-term Lower Health Care Utilization in Crohn’s Disease but Not in Ulcerative Colitis

Methods: The authors “used health administrative data from Manitoba, Canada to identify all persons with a new diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) between 2001 and 2018 who received tumor necrosis factor antagonists (anti-TNF) therapy and had at least 1 year of post anti-TNF initiation follow-up.”

Key findings:

  • Among 742 persons with CD, early anti-TNF initiators had fewer IBD-specific and overall hospitalizations over the 5 years following the start of therapy
  • Incidence of resective surgery was also lower in earlier anti-TNF initiators with CD if the first year following initiation was excluded from the analysis.
  • In 318 cases of UC, there was no impact of the timing of anti-TNF therapy on the rates of hospitalization and surgery.

My take: These two studies show that use of biologic therapy is associated with better outcomes in Crohn’s disease including fewer intestinal resections and fewer hospitalizations. It appears that earlier use may alter the natural history in part by reducing the likelihood of stricturing disease. Interestingly, the RISK study showed a reduction in penetrating disease with early use of biologics but not a reduction in stricturing disease (Related blog post: CCFA: Updates in Inflammatory Bowel Disease 2017 (part 3))

2 thoughts on “Improving Natural History of Pediatric Crohn’s Disease with Biologic Therapy -Two Studies

  1. Jay, you are correct, the early stricturing (within 3 years) was not affected by anti-TNF use but our 5 year RISK data shows that late B2 (Stricture) is influenced by early anti-TNF therapy. This paper is about to be submitted for publication. Stay tuned.

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