Working Together to Improve Outcomes for Children with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Recently, we had an “ImproveCareNow Population Management” meeting.  At these regular meetings, we typically review at least one topic of interest, review data on how patients are doing (eg. hospitalizations, clinical remission, surgeries, followup visits), and discuss patients who have challenging clinical problems.  Credit for making these meetings work go to Clair Talmadge, PA-C, Samantha Gomez (ICN coordinator), and Chelly Dykes (physician leader).  Also, with regards to depression screening, we are fortunate to have the support of Bonney Reed-Knight and Jessica Buzenski.

At the latest meeting, we discussed our recent implementation of depression screening, expanded definitions of clinical remission/sustained clinical remission, and family support projects.

With regard to depression screening, we are finding that ~30% had actionable screens indicating some level of depression and ~4% screened as suicidal (requiring urgent attention).

My take: Each of these meetings and the work that goes into them make tangible improvements in outcomes.

Some of the slides are shown below.

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IBD Shorts October 2018

C Ma et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepaatol 2018; 16: 1407-19.  This study examined endpoints in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of Crohn’s disease.  Key finding: Among 116 included RCTs (n=27,263 patients), there were 38 unique definitions of clinical response or remission and 32 definitions of loss of response. The most common endpoint was CD activity index.

RP Hirten et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2018; 16: 1374-84. This review examines the topic of combining biologics in inflammatory bowel disease. Currently, there is little data in IBD.  From studies completed in rheumatology and dermatology, there are some safety concerns. One current study, the EXPLORER study, which is a phase 4 open label trial evaluating the use of vedolizumab in combination with adalimumab and methotrexate, will provide some useful information.  With regard to safety, gut-specific anti-integrin therapies are likely to be safer in combination than other biologic therapies.

RJ Colman et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2018; 24: 2135-41.  This systematic review and meta-analysis which included 14 eligible studies showed that the pooled clinical remission rate with methotrexate monotherapy for pediatric Crohn’s disease was 57.7% at 3-6 months and 37.1% at 1 year.

AA Wren et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2018; 24: 2093-2105. This study with 93,668 patients in a cohort from Truven MarketScan Database (2007-2015) identified a high rate of opioid therapy usage in U.S. adolescents and young adults (15-29 year olds).  Annual prevalence of chronic opioid use was 9.3% in 2007 and peaked at 12.2% in 2011. In 2015, the prevalence dropped to 10.8%.  Overall, 18.2% had received chronic opioid therapy.  Among the 2503 with chronic opioid usage who were followed longitudinally, 30.5% received opioids for 2 years and 5.3% for 4 years. The associated editorial (ME Kuenzig, EI Benchimol, pg 2140-5) note that these prevalence data may underestimate the true rate of opioid use due to the case definition of IBD used when analyzing the administrative data.

Lake Moraine, Banff

Eosinophilic Esophagitis: the Limits of “Clinical Remission”

Among patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), two issues are particularly vexing for families:

  • The recommendation to use endoscopy to assess response to treatment.
  • Using proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy as first line treatment when other therapies have higher response rates

To some extent, these issues are intertwined because PPI therapy works in less than half of patients and to determine this conclusively, an endoscopy is needed.  Clearly, a reliable noninvasive biomarker would be quite helpful.

In the meantime, another study (CE Kuehni et al. Gastroenterol 2016; 150: 581-90, editorial 547-48) has shown that “clinical remission” has modest accuracy in detecting endoscopic and histologic remission in EoE.

This prospective observational study, performed between 2011-14, recruited 269 consecutive adults in Switzerland and U.S.. 67% male median age 39 years.

Key finding:

Of 111 who were in clinical remission (41.3%), only 79 (72%) and 75 (68%) were in endoscopic and histologic (<20 eos/mm2 which corresponds to <5 eos/median hpf) remission respectively.

My take (borrowed): “Physicians cannot rely on lack of symptoms to make assumptions about lack of biologic disease activity in adult EoE patients.”

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Gibbs Gardens

Gibbs Gardens