[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many patients with quiescent Crohn's disease are maintained on long-term treatment with azathioprine (AZA), but controlled data are limited. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy of AZA therapy for more than 4 years to maintain clinical remission.
Digestive Diseases and Sciences 11/2014; · 2.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Proresolution functions were reported for PGD2 in colitis, but the role of its two receptors, D-type prostanoid (DP) and, in particular, chemoattractant receptor homologous molecule expressed on Th2 cells (CRTH2), is less well defined. We investigated DP and CRTH2 expression and function during human and murine ulcerative colitis (UC). Expression of receptors was measured by flow cytometry on peripheral blood leukocytes and by immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting in colon biopsies of patients with active UC and healthy individuals. Receptor involvement in UC was evaluated in a mouse model of dextran sulfate sodium colitis. DP and CRTH2 expression changed in leukocytes of patients with active UC in a differential manner. In UC patients, DP showed higher expression in neutrophils but lower in monocytes as compared with control subjects. In contrast, CRTH2 was decreased in eosinophils, NK, and CD3(+) T cells but not in monocytes and CD3(+)/CD4(+) T cells. The decrease of CRTH2 on blood eosinophils clearly correlated with disease activity. DP correlated positively with disease activity in eosinophils but inversely in neutrophils. CRTH2 internalized upon treatment with PGD2 and 11-dehydro TXB2 in eosinophils of controls. Biopsies of UC patients revealed an increase of CRTH2-positive cells in the colonic mucosa and high CRTH2 protein content. The CRTH2 antagonist CAY10595 improved, whereas the DP antagonist MK0524 worsened inflammation in murine colitis. DP and CRTH2 play differential roles in UC. Although expression of CRTH2 on blood leukocytes is downregulated in UC, CRTH2 is present in colon tissue, where it may contribute to inflammation, whereas DP most likely promotes anti-inflammatory actions.
Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). 06/2014;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: TNF alpha antibodies have clearly improved the outcome of moderate to severe Crohn's disease. Adalimumab is the first fully human, monoclonal TNF alpha antibody, which can be self-administered subcutaneously. Since August 2012 adalimumab is approved for the treatment of moderately to severely active Crohn's disease, in patients who have not responded despite a full and adequate course of therapy with a corticosteroid and/or an immunosuppressant or who are intolerant to or have medical contraindications for such therapies. Compared to placebo adalimumab can induce significantly more often steroid-free remission and mucosal healing in patients with moderate to severe Crohn's disease, reduce the rate of Crohn's disease-related hospitalisations and surgery and improve health-related quality of life. Adalimumab is clinically efficacious both in patients with Crohn's disease naïve to previous exposure to TNF-alpha antibodies and in those previously exposed with a rapid onset of action within days and confirmed maintenance performance over 3 years. The safety profile of adalimumab is comparable to those of other TNF alpha inhibitors. Due to its low immunogenicity allergic reactions are rare. The update of a consensus report by the Working Group Inflammatory Bowel Disease of the Austrian Society of Gastroenterology and Hepatology presents the existing evidence on adalimumab for the treatment of Crohn's disease and is aimed to assist as a code of practice in its applications.
Zeitschrift für Gastroenterologie 08/2013; · 1.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In patients with ulcerative colitis (UC), alterations of the intestinal microbiota, termed dysbiosis, have been postulated to contribute to intestinal inflammation. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has been used as effective therapy for recurrent Clostridium difficile colitis also caused by dysbiosis. The aims of the present study were to investigate if patients with UC benefit from FMT and if dysbiosis can be reversed.
Six patients with chronic active UC nonresponsive to standard medical therapy were treated with FMT by colonoscopic administration. Changes in the colonic microbiota were assessed by 16S rDNA-based microbial community profiling using high-throughput pyrosequencing from mucosal and stool samples.
All patients experienced short-term clinical improvement within the first 2 weeks after FMT. However, none of the patients achieved clinical remission. Microbiota profiling showed differences in the modification of the intestinal microbiota between individual patients after FMT. In 3 patients, the colonic microbiota changed toward the donor microbiota; however, this did not correlate with clinical response. On phylum level, there was a significant reduction of Proteobacteria and an increase in Bacteroidetes after FMT.
FMT by a single colonoscopic donor stool application is not effective in inducing remission in chronic active therapy-refractory UC. Changes in the composition of the intestinal microbiota were significant and resulted in a partial improvement of UC-associated dysbiosis. The results suggest that dysbiosis in UC is at least in part a secondary phenomenon induced by inflammation and diarrhea rather than being causative for inflammation in this disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:: The value of azathioprine metabolites (6-thioguanine nucleotides [6-TGN]) in monitoring clinical treatment response is still controversially discussed. Data regarding thiopurine metabolite levels and endoscopic improvement are lacking. METHODS:: Data were analyzed post hoc from a 1-year, multicenter, double-blind, double-dummy, randomized trial comparing azathioprine 2.0 to 2.5 mg/kg per day versus mesalamine 4 g/d in a subset of 23 postoperative patients with Crohn's disease (CD) treated with azathioprine and having moderate-to-severe endoscopic recurrence according to a modified 6-grade score. Red blood cell (RBC) concentrations of 6-TGN, 6-methyl-mercaptopurine ribonucleotides (6-MMPR), and 6-methyl-thioguanine nucleotides (6-MTGN) were indicated as follows: area under the concentration-time curve, average concentration (Cav), and concentration at the final study visit. RESULTS:: Overall, 74% of patients showed an improvement in the modified endoscopic score (P = 0.022). Median endoscopic score reduced from 4 at the baseline to 2 at the final visit. Patients with a high Cav for 6-TGN (≥193 pmol/8 × 10 RBC; P = 0.017) or 6-MTGN (≥79.2 pmol/8 × 10 RBC; P = 0.035) significantly improved in endoscopic score, and the improvement in endoscopic score correlated with Cav for 6-TGN (r = -0.51; P = 0.013). For concentration at the final visit, higher values for 6-TGN (≥142 pmol/8 × 10 RBC; P = 0.017) were associated with a better postoperative score. Sensitivity analysis revealed a significant correlation between 6-TGN (area under the concentration-time curve) and postoperative endoscopic improvement. CONCLUSIONS:: Our post hoc analysis from a double-blind, randomized trial suggests that higher RBC 6-TGN levels are associated with endoscopic improvement in patients with severe postoperative endoscopic recurrence of CD. Thus, our study provides first evidence on the utility of monitoring of thiopurine metabolites to achieve mucosal response in CD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE), but data on frequency, site of thrombosis and risk factors are limited. We sought to determine prevalence, incidence as well as location and clinical features of first VTE among IBD patients. METHODS: We evaluated a cohort of 2811 IBD patients for a history of symptomatic, objectively confirmed first VTE, recruited from 14 referral centers. Patients with VTE before IBD diagnosis or cancer were excluded. Incidence rates were calculated based on person-years from IBD diagnosis to first VTE or end of follow-up, respectively. RESULTS: 2784 patients (total observation time 24,778 person-years) were analyzed. Overall, of 157 IBD patients with a history of VTE, 142 (90.4%) had deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and/or pulmonary embolism (PE), whereas 15 (9.6%) had cerebral, portal, mesenteric, splenic or internal jugular vein thrombosis. The prevalence and incidence rate of all VTE was 5.6% and 6.3 per 1000 person years, respectively. Patients with VTE were older at IBD diagnosis than those without VTE (34.4±14.8years vs 32.1±14.4years, p=0.045), but did not differ regarding sex, underlying IBD and disease duration. 121 (77.1%) VTE were unprovoked, 122 (77.7%) occurred in outpatients and 78 (60.9%) in patients with active disease. Medication at first VTE included corticosteroids (42.3%), thiopurines (21.2%), and infliximab (0.7%). CONCLUSION: VTE is frequent in IBD patients. Most of them are unprovoked and occur in outpatients. DVT and PE are most common and unusual sites of thrombosis are rare.
Journal of Crohn s and Colitis 11/2012; · 3.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Opportunistic infections, especially reactivation with M. tuberculosis, are major complications during treatment with anti-TNF agents. Infections with atypical mycobacteria like Mycobacterium marinum are rare and tend to turn into a difficult and prolonged course due to delayed diagnosis. This is the first case of M. marinum infection during adalimumab therapy in a patient with Crohn's disease. The most important diagnostic step was a detailed medical history as PCR tested for M. tuberculosis and for atypical subspecies was false negative. Up to now a discontinuation of anti-TNF therapy has been recommended, however, there is no consensus about the reintroduction of biologicals after sufficient anti-infective therapy. In this patient anti-TNF therapy had to be reintroduced because of increasing activity with no relapse of M. marinum after a follow-up of 12months.
Journal of Crohn s and Colitis 07/2012; · 3.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) varies widely between different countries. This large variation is also observed for the incidence of its main two forms, ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD). Controversy exists whether IBD incidence is increasing, especially in western countries. Currently no data are available for Austria. This study therefore aimed to evaluate for the first time the incidence of IBD over an eleven-year period in Styria, a province of Austria with a population of 1.2million. METHODS: All patients with an initial diagnosis of IBD between 1997 and 2007, who were Styrian residents, were eligible for this retrospective study. Data were acquired from electronically stored hospital discharge reports and individual reports by patients and physicians. According to population density Styria was divided into two rural and one urban area. RESULTS: Throughout the study period 1527 patients with an initial diagnosis of IBD were identified. The average annual incidence was 6.7 (95% CI 6.2-7.1) per 100,000 persons per year for CD and 4.8 (95% CI 4.5-5.2) for UC. The average annual incidence increased significantly (p<0.01) for both diseases during the 11year study period. Median age at initial diagnosis was 29years (range 3-87) for CD and 39years (range 3-94) for UC. At diagnosis, 8.5% of all IBD patients were <18years of age. The incidence of both CD and UC was significantly higher in the urban area than in rural areas (CD: 8.8, 95% CI 7.8-9.8 versus 5.5, 95% CI 4.7-6.4 and 5.9, 95% CI 5.3-6.7; [p<0.001]; UC: 5.8, 95% CI 5.1-6.6 versus 4.0, 95% CI 3.4-4.7 and 4.7, 95% CI 4.1-5.4; [p=0.04]). CONCLUSION: We observed an overall increase in the incidence of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease in a part of Austria during an eleven year period. IBD was more predominant in the largest urban area than in rural areas.
Journal of Crohn s and Colitis 04/2012; · 3.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Iron deficiency with and without anaemia is a common burden of patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and has considerable impact on their quality of life and the ability to perform. The IBD working group of the Austrian Society of Gastroenterology and Hepatology developed five consensus statements on the following topics: (i) diagnosis of iron deficiency and (ii) anaemia, (iii) screening of iron deficiency, (iv) treatment of iron deficiency and (v) therapeutic goals. The clinical importance of intravenous iron replacement therapy in IBD with regard to effectiveness and compliance was discussed.
Zeitschrift für Gastroenterologie 05/2011; 49(5):627-32. · 1.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infliximab is a monoclonal antibody against tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), which is approved for the treatment of chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as Crohn's disease (CD), fistulating Crohn's disease (FCD), ulcerative colitis (UC), and paediatric ulcerative colitis (PUC) from 6 years onwards. Besides its therapeutic efficacy, this antibody therapy is characterised by its side effects profile, which has been addressed in a seperate consensus statement by the Working Group for chronic inflammatory bowel diseases within the Austrian Society for Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Infliximab is an effective treatment option for the above-mentioned indications; however, use of this agent requires special knowledge to assess the benefit-risk profile for each patient individually.
Zeitschrift für Gastroenterologie 03/2011; 49(4):534-42. · 1.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at increased risk of a first venous thromboembolism (VTE), yet their risk of recurrent VTE is unknown. We performed a cohort study to determine the risk for recurrent VTE among patients with IBD compared with subjects without IBD.
We assessed 2811 patients with IBD for a history of VTE, recruited from outpatient clinics at 14 referral centers (June 2006-December 2008). Patients with VTE before a diagnosis of IBD or those not confirmed to have VTE, cancer, or a VTE other than deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, were excluded. Recurrence rates were compared with 1255 prospectively followed patients without IBD that had a first unprovoked VTE (not triggered by trauma, surgery, or pregnancy). The primary end point was symptomatic, objectively confirmed, recurrent VTE after discontinuation of anticoagulation therapy after a first VTE.
Overall, of 116 IBD patients who had a history of first VTE, 86 were unprovoked. The probability of recurrence 5 years after discontinuation of anticoagulation therapy was higher among patients with IBD than patients without IBD (33.4%; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 21.8-45.0 vs 21.7%; 95% CI: 18.8-24.6; P = .01). After adjustment for potential confounders, IBD was an independent risk factor of recurrence (hazard ratio = 2.5; 95% CI: 1.4-4.2; P = .001).
Patients with IBD are at an increased risk of recurrent VTE compared to patients without IBD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infliximab (IFX) has tremendously enriched the therapy of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and other immune mediated diseases. Although the efficacy of IFX was undoubtedly proven during the last decade numerous publications have also caused various safety concerns. To summarize the immense information concerning adverse events and safety issues the Austrian Society of Gastroenterology and Hepatology launched this evidence based consensus on the safe use of IFX which covers the following topics: infusion reactions and immunogenicity, skin reactions, opportunistic infections (including tuberculosis), non-opportunistic infections (bacterial and viral), vaccination, neurological complications, hepatotoxicity, congestive heart failure, haematological side effects, intestinal strictures, stenosis and bowel obstruction (SSO), concomitant medication, malignancy and lymphoma, IFX in the elderly and the young, mortality, fertility, pregnancy and breast feeding. To make the vast amount of information practicable for routine application the consensus was finally condensed into a checklist for a safe use of IFX which consists of two parts: issues to be addressed prior to anti-TNF therapy and issues to be addressed during maintenance. Both parts are further divided into obligatory and facultative items.
Journal of Crohn s and Colitis 09/2010; 4(3):221-56. · 3.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to compare azathioprine versus mesalazine tablets for the prevention of clinical recurrence in patients with postoperative Crohn's disease (CD) with moderate or severe endoscopic recurrence.
This was a 1 year, double-blind, double-dummy, randomised study which took place in 21 gastroenterology centres in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany and Israel. The study participants were 78 adults with CD who had undergone resection with ileocolonic anastomosis in the preceding 6-24 months without subsequent clinical recurrence and with a Crohn's disease activity index (CDAI) score <200, but with moderate or severe endoscopic recurrence. The study drugs were azathioprine 2.0-2.5 mg/kg/day or mesalazine 4 g/day over 1 year. The primary end point was therapeutic failure during 1 year, defined as a CDAI score > or = 200 and an increase of > or = 60 points from baseline, or study drug discontinuation due to lack of efficacy or intolerable adverse drug reaction.
Treatment failure occurred in 22.0% (9/41) of azathioprine-treated patients and 10.8% (4/37) of mesalazine-treated patients, a difference of 11.1% (95% CI -5.0% to 27.3%, p=0.19). Clinical recurrence was significantly less frequent with azathioprine versus mesalazine (0/41 (0%) vs 4/37 (10.8%), p=0.031), whereas study drug discontinuation due to adverse drug reactions only occurred in azathioprine-treated patients (9/41 (22.0%) vs 0%, p=0.002). The proportion of patients showing > or = 1 point reduction in Rutgeerts score between baseline and month 12 was 63.3% (19/30) and 34.4% (11/32) in the azathioprine and mesalazine groups, respectively (p=0.023).
In this population of patients with postoperative CD at high risk of clinical recurrence, superiority for azathioprine versus mesalazine could not be demonstrated for therapeutic failure.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The advent of anti-TNF alpha antibodies has clearly improved the outcome of patients with Crohn's disease. With adalimumab, the first fully human, monoclonal anti-TNF alpha antibody, which can be administered subcutaneously by means of a pen, became available in 2007. In Europe adalimumab is approved for the treatment of severe, active Crohn's disease, in patients who have not responded despite a full and adequate course of therapy with a corticosteroid and/or an immunosuppressant; or who are intolerant to or have medical contraindications for such therapies. Adalimumab is clinically efficacious both in patients with Crohn's disease naïve to previous exposure to anti-TNF alpha antibodies and in those previously exposed with a rapid onset of action and a confirmed maintenance performance over 3 years. A reduction in the rate of hospitalisation and an improvement of health-related quality of life are associated with this treatment. The safety profile of adalimumab is comparable to those of other TNF alpha inhibitors. Due to low immunogenicity, allergic reactions are rare. A careful screening of patients before and during treatment with adalimumab is of key importance. The presented therapy guidelines based on existing evidence are aimed to assist in the efficient and safe use of adalimumab in the treatment of Crohn's disease.
Zeitschrift für Gastroenterologie 05/2009; 47(4):372-80. · 1.41 Impact Factor