Chicago Classification of J Pouch Outcomes

S Akiyama et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2021; Endoscopic Phenotype of the J Pouch in Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A New Classification for Pouch Outcomes

The authors retrospectively reviewed 1359 pouchoscopies and classified them into 7 main pouch phenotypes: (1) normal, (2) afferent limb involvement, (3) inlet involvement, (4) diffuse, (5) focal inflammation of the pouch body, (6) cuffitis, and (7) pouch with fistulas noted 6 months after ileostomy takedown.

Key finding: Diffuse inflammation was associated independently with pouch excision (hazard ratio, 2.69; 95% CI, 1.34–5.41; P = .005).

Related blog posts:

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

Related blog posts:

What is Going On With Pouchitis? & No More Handshakes

A prospective study (V Dubinsky et al. Gastroenterol 2020; 158: 610-24) followed 49 patients who had undergone pouch surgery for ulcerative colitis or for familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP).

The authors followed multiple parameters including calprotectin, metagenomes/bacterial diversity, antibiotic resistance testing, and virulence factors/toxins. 33 patients received antibiotics for a median of 425 days.  Most patients were treated with a combination of ciprofloxacin and metronidazole.

Full text link: Predominantly Antibiotic-resistant Intestinal Microbiome Persists in Patients With Pouchitis Who Respond to Antibiotic Therapy

Key findings:

  • Pouch phenotype: normal from UC (n=10), recurrent acute pouchitis (n=6), chronic pouchitis and Crohn’s-like disease of the pouch (n=27), and normal from FAP (n=6)
  • 79% of antibiotic-treated patients had a clinical response to each course of antibiotics
  • 89% of those who completed a 4-week course relapsed within 3 months
  • Median calprotectin values decreased by 40% in response to antibiotics
  • Antibiotic treatment reduced disease-associated bacteria including Clostridium perfringens, Ruminococcus gnavus, and Klebsiella pnneumoniae. However, F prausnitzii, a putative anti-inflammatory species, also decreased during antibiotic treatment
  • While antibiotic resistance was noted, these strains had a tendency toward lower potential for virulence and “did not induce secretion of inflammatory cytokines by epithelial cells”

Why do patients become antibiotic-dependent?

“We observed a drastic shift in microbiome composition on antibiotics cessation, characterized by blooms of nonintestinal bacteria, especially those originating from the oral cavity, as well as of opportunistic pathogens. Intestinal colonization by oral bacteria has been associated with UC and Crohn’s disease, and shown to trigger severe intestinal inflammation in germ-free mice…[this] drug-resistant microbiome may be fragile and unable to prevent colonization by exogenous bacteria that are ecologically fitter once antibiotics are discontinued.”

My take: This study provides insight into how antibiotics improve pouchitis; namely, they reduce disease-associated bacteria and promote an antibiotic-resistant microbiome with lower inflammatory potential.

Related blog posts:

Figure 1:

Link:  34 AAP Publications regarding COVID-19 and children

ESPGHAN Position Paper: Biosimilars in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease

A recent position paper from ESPGHAN/Porto Group:

Full text: Use of Biosimilars in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease: An Updated Position Statement of the Pediatric IBD Porto Group of ESPGHAN. L de Riddler et al. JPGN 2019; 68: 144-53

Key points:

  • There are sufficient data (by extrapolation from different indications, adult data and limited pediatric data) to state that in children with IBD who are indicated for IFX treatment, CT-P13 is a safe and efficacious alternative to the originator IFX for
    induction, and maintenance, of remission. 97% agreement
  • A switch from the originator infliximab to CT-P13 may be considered in children with IBD in clinical remission, following at least 3 induction infusions. 84% agreement
  • Multiple switches (>1 switch) between biosimilars and reference drug or various biosimilars are not recommended in children with IBD, as data on interchangeability is limited and traceability of the drugs in case of loss of efficacy and/or safety signals may be compromised. 97% agreement
  • Physicians/institutions should keep records of brands and batch numbers of all biological medicines (including biosimilars) administered. 89% agreement

Related blog posts:

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.

IBD Shorts July 2018

DJ Gracie et al. Gastroenterol 2018; 154: 1635-46. This study of 405 adults indicated that IBD triggers anxiety and that anxiety triggers IBD. Specifically: “Baseline CD or UC disease activity were associated with an almost 6-fold increase in risk for a later abnormal anxiety score (hazard ratio [HR], 5.77; 95% CI, 1.89-17.7).  In patients with quiescent IBD at baseline, baseline abnormal anxiety scores were associated with later need for glucocorticosteroid prescription or flare of IBD activity (HR 2.08; 95% CI, 1.31-3.30).”

RL Dalal, B Shen, DA Schwartz. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2018; 24: 989-96.  This review provides updated information on epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment recommendations for pouchitis.

A Alper et al. JPGN 2018; 66: 934-6. Key finding: Celiac disease is “not increased in children with IBD compared with non-IBD children with gastrointestinal symptoms.”  False-positive tTG serology can occur.

AK Shaikhkhalil et al. JPGN 2018; 66: 909-14. The authors showed that using a quality-improvement effort, there was increase utilization of enteral exclusive therapy (EEN).  Baseline 5.was <5% and by completion of intervention, utilization increased to approximately 50%. The interventions to achieve this are specified in this article, including talking points.  EEN is described as “nutrition therapy.” Patients are offered oral EEN and if not adequate by 3-4 days, nasogastric feedings are initiated (~15%).  Interestingly, of those to complete EEN therapy, 97% did not need NG placement.

Pictures from Ameilia Island:

Amelia Island

Low Rate of Ocular Disease in Pediatric Crohn’s Disease

A recent study (S Naviglio et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2017; 23: 986-90) confirms that there is a low rate of ocular disease in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD); in this cohort, half had Crohn’s disease (CD) and half had ulcerative colitis.

In this single center study, 94 children with a median age of 13.4 yrs were offered ophthalmologic examination (2014-2016).  None of these patients reported ocular symptoms.  The authors assert that 70% had intestinal remission, though 64% had elevated fecal calprotectin levels (>100 mg/kg). Key finding: One patient (1.06%) had ocular finding of uveitis (previously diagnosed prior to study)

The authors indicate that hepatobiliary manifestations, present in 9, were the most common extraintestinal IBD manifestation (EIM). Arthropathy occurred in 8, cutaneous manifestations occurred in 6 and ‘metastatic’ CD occurred in 4.

My take:  Ocular disease is an infrequent EIM in pediatric patients with IBD.

Related articleK Hata et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2017; 23: 1019-24. This article found that patients with EIMs were more likely to have chronic pouchitis after colectomy for ulcerative colitis. Overall, chronic pouchitis developed in 3.3%, 7.6% and 16.6% at 2, 5, and 10 years respectively. Key finding: preoperative EIM yielded a HR of 4.52.

Pouchitis -Not So Rare in Patients with FAP

In their introduction (KP Quinn et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2016; 14: 1296-1301), the authors state the following:  “Despite the widely held notion that pouchitis is a rare complication in FAP following IPAA, clinical experience at our institution suggests [it]…is underestimated.”

Methods: retrospective cohort study of all FAP patients who underwent IPAA (ileal ouch-anal anastomosis) from 1992-2015 at their institution (Mayo clinic), n=113.

Key findings:

  • 25 (22.1%) developed pouchitis with a mean time to pouchitis of 4.1 years.
  • Of the 25 who developed pouchitis, 72% had an acute course and 28% had a chronic course.

My take: While pouchitis does occur more commonly in IBD following IPAA, it does occur with FAP more frequently than previously described.

Related blog post:


What We Know Now: Therapeutic Drug Monitoring for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

This blog has discussed the utility of obtaining drug levels for both biologic agents and thiopurines.  A recent article (Inflamm Bowel Dis 2015; 21: 182-97) provides a concise up-to-date review.

Here are the key points:

  • Primary nonresponse to anti-TNF therapy (PNR) “is most commonly defined as lack of improvement of clinical signs and symptoms after the induction phase leading to discontinuation of the drug.”
  • “We think that patients who respond but fail to achieve remission…are likely almost all due to insufficient drug.”
  • Table 2 provides a list of predicting factors, both negative and positive, for PNR.  This list includes genetic mutations (e.g.. IL23R, NOD2/CARD15 variant), mucosal gene expression, clinical factors (e.g. young age, isolated colitis, smoking, nonstricturing disease, concomitant immunomodulators) and serologic (eg. CRP, hemoglobin, and presence of pANCA).
  • Patients with PNR to a TNF antagonist, “despite therapeutic concentrations of drug and no anti-drug antibodies (ADA), would likely benefit from a switch to an alternative drug with a different mechanism of action.”
  • “Patients with a high baseline inflammatory load…and increased clearance of drug because of a high turnover would likely benefit from higher induction doses.”  This hypothesis has been proven in rheumatoid arthritis patients in which patients with high TNF concentrations had a clinical response to 10 mg/kg that was “significantly better than the response to 3 and 6 mg/kg of infliximab.”
  • Patients (with ADA) with an “early immunogenic response against the TNF antagonist are unlikely to respond to dose escalation and thus should be switched to another TNF antagonist, and it should be considered to give higher induction doses in combination with an IMM [immunomodulator] to reduce the risk of immunogenicity.”

Take-home message: New definition of primary nonresponse to anti-TNF agent: “a lack of improvement of objectively assessed signs of active inflammation at baseline, after the induction phase despite the presence of adequate concentrations of drug and the absence of anti drug antibodies.”

Also noted: “Surgical management of ulcerative colitis in the era of biologicals” Inflamm Bowel Dis 2015; 21: 208-10. Key point: “Sacrificing the non responsive diseased colon is an underused or unnecessarily delayed chance to normalize and life.”  “Deconditioning of patient with unreasonably long escalations of ineffective medications adds to the morbidity of surgical intervention.”

“Automimmune Features are Associated with Chronic Antibiotic-refractory Pouchitis”Inflamm Bowel Dis 2015; 21: 110-20. Key point: “Microsomal antibody expression and elevated IgG4-positive plasma cell infiltration were independent risk factors” for chronic antibiotic-refractory pouchitis.”

Update on MOC (recent blog:Resistance to Maintenance of Certification | gutsandgrowth) American Board of Internal Medicine “We Got It Wrong” “We launched programs that weren’t ready and we didn’t deliver an MOC program that physicians found meaningful. We want to change that.”

Related blog posts:

Does Sun Exposure Lower the Risk of Crohn Disease?

An intriguing recent study suggests that individuals who spend more time outside are less likely to develop Crohn disease (CD) (Inflamm Bowel Dis 2014; 20: 75-81).

In this prospective cohort study from France, 123 cases of inflammatory bowel disease (45 CD, 71 ulcerative colitis, and 7 indeterminant colitis)  developed among the 91,870 women in the study.  The study period had a mean followup of 13.1 years and followed women between 40 and 65 years. The authors estimated residential sun exposure by utilizing a database (derived from satellite collection) containing the mean daily ultraviolet radiation dose for each French county.

Key findings:

  • Higher levels of sun exposure were associated with a decreased risk of Crohn disease with a Hazard Ratio (HR) of 0.49.
  • Sun exposure did not affect the likelihood of developing UC (HR 1.21).
  • In women with information about dietary vitamin D intake, higher sun exposure had a HR of 0.29 for developing CD.  That being said, the authors note a low dietary vitamin D intake in their population.

Despite the large cohort, this study has a number of limitations. The absolute number of IBD patients can lead to a Type 1 error (false-positive conclusion).  In addition, the age of the study population and the lack of data regarding individual sun exposure limit the conclusions as well.  Besides these factors, there may be confounders such as changes in diet and soil exposure which are not accounted for.

At the same time, there have been other studies which have shown a latitude effect.  As with this study, those living in sunny areas had a lower incidence of CD.

Bottomline: This study suggests that additional sun exposure is associated with a lower risk of developing Crohn disease.  Whether this lower risk is directly through better vitamin D levels or simply an epiphenomenon is unclear.

Other recent unrelated studies:

Gut 2013; 62: 1122-30.  A randomized phase 1 study of etrolizumab (rhuMAb β-7) in moderate to severe ulcerative colitis.  Etrolizumab is an adhesion cell molecular blocker.

Inflamm Bowel Dis 2014; 20: 21-35.  Meta-analysis of 23 randomized controlled trials of probiotics for UC, Pouchitis, and CD.  Probiotics, in particular VSL#3, increased UC remission rates and helped maintain remission in patients with pouchitis.

Inflamm Bowel Dis 2014; 20: 213-27. Review article of cutaneous manifestations of inflammatory bowel disease.  Good pictures of multiple problems including metastatic Crohn disease, erythema nodosum, pyoderma gangrenosum, Sweet’s syndrome, aseptic abscess syndrome, and epidermolysis bullosa acquisita.

Inflamm Bowel Dis 2013; 19: 1753-63.  Review on hair loss associated with inflammatory bowel disease. Remember telogen effluvium?

Related posts:

For those who read from the top to the very bottom, here’s a tangential question: Do you know what a “sun dog” is?   Sun dog – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In PURSUIT of Better Treatment for Ulcerative Colitis

Patient education materials:

#1  Ulcerative Colitis For Dummies | UC Patient Resource This link connects to a free educational book promoted by Salix pharmaceuticals.  In order to receive a free download, you have to register and include your email.  I have not read this book but other similar books (eg. Colonoscopy for Dummies) by Salix have been well-written.

#2 This link,, is to the ImproveCareNow visit planner website.  It poses of ~ 8 questions and a text box  for “my list of things I’m concerned about and questions that I have.”  Families that use this planner may help themselves achieve more comprehensive care.

Anyone who follows this blog knows that I really enjoy a good study acronym.  The Program of Ulcerative Colitis Research Studies Utilizing an Investigational Treatment (PURSUIT) is responsible for two papers in the most recent Gastroenterology issue:

  • Gastroenterol 2014; 146: 85-95
  • Gastroenterol 2014; 146: 96-109

PURSUIT is composed of >200 sites from around the world.  The first study was a combined phase 2 and phase 3 study. It enrolled 1064 adults with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis (UC) who were randomly assigned to either placebo, 200/100 mg or 400/200 mg of SC golimumab at 0 and 2 weeks.  All patients were naive to previous anti-TNF therapies. The average duration of disease was 6 years among the participants. The primary endpoint of the phase 3 part of this study was the clinical response at 6 weeks.  Clinical response was at least a 30% improvement and a ≥3-point improvement in the Mayo score. At baseline, the average Mayo score was 8.

  • The golimumab groups had response rates of 51.8% and 55.0% respectively compared to 29.7% for placebo.
  • Approximately 18% of patients achieved a clinical remission with treatment compared with 6% of placebo patients.
  • Approximately 10% had healed mucosa compared with ~4% in the placebo group.
  • Adverse events: Rates of serious infection were 1.8% for the active treatment group compared with 0.5% for placebo-treated patients.  In the 400/200 mg dosing group, there was 1 death attributed to peritonitis and sepsis after multiple procedures for ischiorectal abscess repair.  In addition, a single case of demyelination was noted in this group.

The second study, a phase 3 double-blind trial, evaluated the efficacy of maintenance treatment of 50 mg or 100 mg SC every 4 weeks in those with a successful induction (n=464).  This study took place at 251 centers between 2007-2011. At 54 weeks, the actively-treated gourds had maintained a clinical response, using the Mayo score, in 47.1% and 50.6% respectively compared to 31.4% for placebo.  Antibodies to golimumab developed in 2.9%, two-thirds of these antibodies were neutralizing.  Antibody formation was lower in those receiving concomitant immunomodulators. 4 cases of tuberculosis were noted from endemic regions despite previous screening.  Overall, infections occurred in 28% of those treated with placebo compared with 39% of those treated with golimumab.

During the course of the study, three deaths were reported, all in the 100 mg golimumab maintenance group.  The causes were malnutrition/sepsis, cardiac failure/thrombosis, and disseminated tuberculosis (patient was receiving isoniazid). After the study, another 6 deaths were reported, including two in the placebo group.  Three malignancies were reported through week 54 in patients receiving golimumab maintenance, two of these presented in the induction period while receiving placebo rectal cancer and thyroid cancer) and one (lung adenocarcinoma) occurred in a patient with a 40-year smoking history who received golimumab for induction and maintenance.

Taken together, about 25% of patients randomized to and maintained on golimumab achieved a clinical response lasting >1 year; similarly, about 17% had clinical remission at 1 year.

In the commentary (page 13-15), Stephen Hanauer notes that better response was noted with higher serum levels and there remains “a strong possibility that optimal dosing was not achieved.”  He and the authors comment on the observation that less-severe patients had a better response, indicating that  “greater disease severity may be correlated with more rapid clearance.”

Bottomline: These studies demonstrate that golimumab is an effective treatment for UC with a similar risk of adverse reactions as other anti-TNF agents.  The published studies are complicated and take some time to analyze.

Plus more references:

Gastroenterol 2014; 146: 110-18. “Adalimumab therapy is associated with reduced risk of hospitalization in patients with ulcerative colitis.” Data for this studies was derived from ULTRA1 and ULTRA2 trials with 963 patients.  Risk for hospitalization, whether due to UC or all-causes, was reduced between 40-50% compared to placebo within the first 8 weeks of adalimumab administration.

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2013; 11: 1538-49.  Excellent review on pouchitis. Figure 5 (pg 1545) provides a nice treatment algorithm.  Initial approach is antibiotics (metronidazole or ciprofloxacin); in those responsive, either prn therapy or chronic treatment.  In those not responsive, look for pathogens (eg. CMV and C difficile) or determine it is immune-mediated (PSC-associated, IgG4-associated, or autoimmune).  The immune-mediated may respond to 5-ASA/budesonide or immunomodulators.

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2013; 11: 1601-08. This case-control study with 141 UC controls and 59 patients who developed colorectal neoplasia found that increased inflammation was associated with colorectal neoplasia.  Use of immune modulators reduced the risk of colorectal neoplasia.

Related blog post:

Simponi (Golimumab) Approved for Ulcerative Colitis | gutsandgrowth