113 Recommendations for Crohn’s Disease Management from ACG

Full Text Link: ACG Clinical Guideline: Management of Crohn’s Disease. GR Lichtenstein et al. Am J Gastroenterol 2018; 113:481–517

A few of the recommendations from Table 1:

  • (Insurance companies –please read this one): #1 Fecal calprotectin is a helpful test that should be considered to help differentiate the presence of IBD from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (strong recommendation, moderate level of evidence).
  • #9 Perceived stress, depression, and anxiety, which are common in IBD, are factors that lead to decreased health-related quality of life in patients with
    Crohn’s disease, and lead to lower adherence to provider recommendations. Assessment and management of stress, depression, and anxiety should be
    included as part of the comprehensive care of the Crohn’s disease patient (strong recommendation, very low level of evidence)
  • #24, 25 Anti-TNF agents (infliximab, adalimumab, certolizumab pegol) should be used to treat Crohn’s disease that is resistant to treatment with corticosteroids (strong recommendation, moderate level of evidence). Anti-TNF agents should be given for Crohn’s disease refractory to thiopurines or methotrexate (strong recommendation, moderate level of evidence).
  • #26 Combination therapy of infliximab with immunomodulators (thiopurines) is more effective than treatment with either immunomodulators alone or
    inflximab alone in patients who are naive to those agents (strong recommendation, high level of evidence).
  • #27 For patients with moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease and objective evidence of active disease, anti-integrin therapy (with vedolizumab) with
    or without an immunomodulator is more effective than placebo and should be considered to be used for induction of symptomatic remission in patients with
    Crohn’s disease (strong recommendation, high level of evidence).
  • #30 Ustekinumab should be given for moderate-to-severe Crohn’s disease patients who failed previous treatment with corticosteroids, thiopurines, methotrexate, or anti-TNF inhibitors or who have had no prior exposure to anti-TNF inhibitors (strong recommendation, high level of evidence).
  • #46 Oral 5-aminosalicylic acid has not been demonstrated to be effective for maintenance of medically induced remission in patients with Crohn’s disease,
    and is not recommended for long-term treatment (strong recommendation, moderate level of evidence).
  • # 58 In high-risk patients, anti-TNF agents should be started within 4 weeks of surgery in order to prevent postoperative Crohn’s disease recurrence
    (conditional recommendation, low level of evidence).

From Table 2:

  • #9 Symptoms of Crohn’s disease do not correlate well with the presence of active inflammation, and therefore should not be the sole guide for therapy. Objective evaluation by endoscopic or cross-sectional imaging should be undertaken periodically to avoid errors of under– or over treatment.
  • #23 Routine use of serologic markers of IBD to establish the diagnosis of Crohn’s disease is not indicated.
  • #30 Small bowel imaging should be performed as part of the initial diagnostic workup for patients with suspected Crohn’s disease.
  • #44 Insufficient data exist to support the safety and efficacy of switching patients in stable disease maintenance from one biosimilar to another of the same biosimilar molecule.

Disclaimer: These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications/diets (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician/nutritionist.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition.

Wilson’s Disease –Pediatric Guideline

P Socha et al. JPGN 2018; 334-4. This ESPGHAN position paper makes recommendations for Wilson’s disease. This is a helpful paper, though the AASLD Wilson’s guideline is more comprehensive. A couple of pointers from the JPGN publication:

  • The authors recommend molecular testing if available and using liver copper measurement “if molecular testing is inconclusive”
  • Screen siblings of any new patients
  • Urinary copper excretion in the 200-500 mcg per 24 hours is consistent with adequacy of treatment
  • With treatment, liver function tests improve over 2-6 months. “If increased transaminases remain or relapse despite treatment, poor compliance should be suspected.”

Related blog posts:


January 2018 -Sunrise in Sandy Springs

ACG Guideline for Helicobacter Pylori

Link: ACG Clinical Guideline: Treatment of Helicobacter pylori Infection

The American Journal of Gastroenterology , (10 January 2017) | doi:10.1038/ajg.2016.563

William D Chey, Grigorios I Leontiadis, Colin W Howden and Steven F Moss

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is a common worldwide infection that is an important cause of peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer. H. pylori may also have a role in uninvestigated and functional dyspepsia, ulcer risk in patients taking low-dose aspirin or starting therapy with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, unexplained iron deficiency anemia, and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. While choosing a treatment regimen for H. pylori, patients should be asked about previous antibiotic exposure and this information should be incorporated into the decision-making process. For first-line treatment, clarithromycin triple therapy should be confined to patients with no previous history of macrolide exposure who reside in areas where clarithromycin resistance amongst H. pylori isolates is known to be low. Most patients will be better served by first-line treatment with bismuth quadruple therapy or concomitant therapy consisting of a PPI, clarithromycin, amoxicillin, and metronidazole. When first-line therapy fails, a salvage regimen should avoid antibiotics that were previously used. If a patient received a first-line treatment containing clarithromycin, bismuth quadruple therapy or levofloxacin salvage regimens are the preferred treatment options. If a patient received first-line bismuth quadruple therapy, clarithromycin or levofloxacin-containing salvage regimens are the preferred treatment options. Details regarding the drugs, doses and durations of the recommended and suggested first-line and salvage regimens can be found in the guideline.

My take: Recent draft guidelines from our pediatric group, NASPGHAN, suggested that triple therapy, in addition to quadruple therapy, would still be considered a first-line approach.  When the NASPGHAN report is completed/published, it will be of interest to see whether this discrepancy persists.

Related blog posts:


Pediatric HCV Guidelines

A useful recent article, ‘NASPGHAN Practice Guidelines for pediatric HCV’ (JPGN 2012; 54: 838-55) needs to be a handy reference.  However, given the rapid changes in the HCV field, it is likely that this reference will need to be updated soon to incorporate new information (eg. IL28b) as well as emerging therapies.


Epidemiology: 0.2% of children & 0.4% of adolescents are HCV-infected; primary mode is mother to child (vertical) transmission which occurs in 5-7% if mother not coinfected with HIV

Testing: For infants of HCV-infected mothers, check HCV antibody after 18 months or HCV RNA at younger ages.  Need two negative HCV RNAs to exclude infection (guidelines suggest checking 6 months apart).  Most individuals should be screened with antibody testing and confirmed with RNA test.

Screening for HCC (U/S, AFP): suggested only “for those with significant liver disease (ie. cirrhosis)” due to rarity of HCC in pediatric HCC.


  • Not if patient younger than 3 years
  • Probably Pegylated-interferon with ribavirin –references for pediatric studies indicate response rates of about 50% for genotype 1 and about 80% for types 2 & 3.
  • Who should be treated? Not always clear.  Probably those with elevated aminotransferases or progressive disease based on liver biopsy.  Possibly those with mild disease to eradicate virus.
  • Dosing: ribavirin  15/kg/day divided twice daily; weekly PEG-IFN-α-2a 180 microgram/1.73 m2 or weekly PEG-IFN-α-2b 60 microgram*m2

Treatment monitoring (Table 8):

  • CBC/diff, Hepatic panel, glucose 0, 1, 2, 4, 8, 12 weeks, then every  4-8 weeks
  • T4/TSH 0, 12, 24, 36, 48 weeks
  • Urine HCG 0, 24 weeks (if female >12 years)
  • Prothrombin, Urinalysis at week 0
  • HCV RNA 0, 24, 48, 72 weeks

Anticipatory Guidance: “no legal requirement” to disclose HCV infection in U.S.; however, CDC suggests revealing this information to sexual partners (http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/)

  • Avoid sharing toothbrush, shaving equipment with household contacts, unprotected sexual activity with multiple partners, tattooing/piercing
  • Do not need to screen household or casual contacts

Special issues:

  • Vaccines: HCV patients should receive all standard vaccines
  • Obesity and alcohol both can worsen the outcome
  • Fetal scalp probes and prolonged rupture of membranes but not route of delivery may increase risk of HCV transmission
  • Breastfeeding is not contraindicated but should be avoided during mastitis/bleeding

Additional related blog links:

HCV now more deadly than HIV

The cost of progress in treating Hepatitis C

Increased ferritin predicts poor response in Hepatitis C

Curing Hepatitis C without interferon

Looking for trouble

Additional references:

  • Hepatology 2011; 54: 1433. AASLD guidelines.  See teleprevir & boceprevir as well.-http://www.aasld.org/eweb/docs/hepatitisc
  • -Hepatology 2011; 53: 1468. PEG/RBV have minimal effect on QOL/cognitive/emotional outcomes, n=114.
  • -Gastroenterology 2011; 140: 389, 450-58. HEP-C STUDY. Comb RBV (15mg/kg div BID) & PEG-2a (180mcg/1.73m2 body surface q week) is better than PEG monotherapy. 53% SVR in combo group. Neutropenia in 40% –needed to reduce dose see below). “The Combination of Ribavirin and Peginterferon Is Superior to Peginterferon and Placebo for Children and Adolescents With Chronic Hepatitis C.”
  • -Hepatology 2009; 49: 1335. Comprehensive review and guidelines
  • -J Hepatology 2010; 52: 501-07. n=107. Pediatric study. Wirth et al. Efficacy of PEG alfa-2b (1.5/g/d) & RBV (15/kg/day): Genotypes 2/3 96% SVR, genotype 1 55%.
  • -JPGN 2006; 43: 499.  Study of PEG-IFN-α-2a in children.  dose BSA m2/1.73 x 180microgm weekly x 48 weeks.  6/14 (43%) had sustained response.  all genotype 1.  Article states that IFN (3/week) + RBV has now been approved by FDA for those over 3 years

PEG-Interferon Dosing:

Dosing adjustment from hep C study in children –needed in ~40%

PEG -2a
original: 180mcg/1.73m2
1. level 1: 135 mcg, level 2: 90mcg, level 3: 45 mcg

If ANC 750-999 week 1-2: level 1 adjustment, weeks >3: no adjustment
If ANC 500-749: week 1-2: hold dose ’til >750, then level 1; weeks >3, level 1 adjustment
If ANC 250-499: week 1-2, hold until >750, then level 2 adjustment, weeks >3, then hold ’til 750, then level 1 adjustment
If ANC <250, stop drug

If PLTs 35-49K, hold til >50, then level 1
If PLTs 25-34, hold til >50, then level 2
If PLTs <25, stop drug

If Hgb <10, reduce RIBA dose by 1/2 & increase dose when hgb>10
If hgb <8.5, stop RIBA

If indirect bili >5, stop drug.  If <2.5, restart dose at one-half and if remains less than 2.5, can resume full dose after 4 weeks.

IF ALT 5-10 ULN, recheck in 1 week.  If stays high, level 1 adjustment.
IF ALT10 ULN for more than 1 week, then if drops to 5-10, level 1 but if remains >10 ULN, then stop drug.

Side effect frequency:
flu symptoms: 91%, h/a, 62%, GI symptoms 56%, injection pain 45%, muscle aches 36%, irritable 31%, fatigue 27%, rash 20%, itching 15%, anorexia 13%, trouble sleeping 11%, depression 4-12%