Mucosal Healing in Crohnʼs Disease

University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (Impact Factor: 4.46). 04/2012; 19(2). DOI: 10.1002/ibd.22977
Source: PubMed


The traditional goals of Crohn's disease therapy, to induce and maintain clinical remission, have not clearly changed its natural history. In contrast, emerging evidence suggests that achieving and maintaining mucosal healing may alter the natural history of Crohn's disease, as it has been associated with more sustained clinical remission and reduced rates of hospitalization and surgical resection. Induction and maintenance of mucosal healing should therefore be a goal toward which therapy is now directed. Unresolved issues pertain to the benefit of achieving mucosal healing at different stages of the disease, the relationship between mucosal healing and transmural inflammation, the intensity of treatment needed to achieve mucosal healing when it has not been obtained using standard therapy, and the means by which mucosal healing is defined using current endoscopic disease activity indices. The main clinical challenge relates to defining the means of achieving high rates of mucosal healing in clinical practice. (Inflamm Bowel Dis 2012;).

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    • "ADA seems to be as effective as IFX in inducing and maintaining remission in steroid-dependent or steroid-refractory CD, significantly reducing complications [5]. Mucosal healing (MH) is becoming one of the most important goals in the treatment of CD, since it has been associated with more sustained clinical remission and reduced rates of hospitalization and surgical resection [6]. Data on the effect of these biologics on histology are still controversial , even considering that it is still needed to standardize both the histological assessment and the severity grading of these disorders [7]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Infliximab (IFX) and adalimumab (ADA) are the key treatments for Crohn's Disease (CD), unresponsive to standard treatments. Our aim was to compare the efficacy and safety of IFX and ADA in treating CD in clinical practice. Methods: One hundred and twenty-six patients (61 M, 65 F, mean age 36.2 years, range 19-67 years), affected by CD, were treated with infliximab (IFX, 59 patients) or adalimumab (ADA, 66 patients). Clinical efficacy, mucosal healing (MH), histological healing (HH), and safety were assessed. MH was defined complicated if healing of ulcers occurred with deformation of bowel profile and/or complete colonoscopy was impossible because of scars. Results: Patients were followed-up for 36 months. No difference was found between IFX and ADA in maintaining long-term clinical remission, MH and HH. Complicated MH was present in 17 (28.8%) patients in IFX group and in 7 (10.6%) patients in ADA group (p=0.012). In 9 (15.2%) patients in IFX group and 2 (3.0%) patients in ADA group colonoscopy was incomplete without cecal intubation or terminal ileum exploration (p=0.024). Side effects were similar in both groups. Conclusions: Both IFX and ADA seem to be effective and safe in long-term outpatient treatment of CD in clinical practice.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · European Journal of Internal Medicine
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    • "Endoscopy is thus a crucial step in assessing CD activity, but it has some limitations: it is invasive, poorly accepted by patients, and it can only examine the mucosa, not the deeper layers of the intestinal wall, and it misses any extra-intestinal complications of the disease.20 There is also some debate on the definition of mucosal healing, and how much a partial improvement in endoscopic disease activity in response to treatment suffices to improve clinical outcome remains to be seen.21,22 In some studies, even a partial healing of the mucosa was enough to improve the course of the disease.11,18 "
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    ABSTRACT: Crohn's disease (CD) is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease characterized by a relapsing-remitting clinical behavior and dominated by intestinal inflammation. Being a chronic disorder that with time develops into a disabling disease, it is important to monitor the severity of inflammation to assess the efficacy of medication, rule out complications, and prevent progression. This is particularly true now that the goals of treatment are mucosal healing and deep remission. Endoscopy has always been the gold standard for assessing mucosal activity in CD, but its use is limited by its invasiveness and its inability to examine the small intestine, proximal to the terminal ileum. Enteroscopy and the less invasive small bowel capsule endoscopy enable the small bowel to be thoroughly explored and scores are emerging for classifying small bowel disease activity. Cross-sectional imaging techniques (ultrasound, magnetic resonance, computed tomography) are emerging as valid tools for monitoring CD patients, assessing inflammatory activity in the mucosa and the transmucosal extent of the disease, and for excluding extra-intestinal complications. Neither endoscopy nor imaging are suitable for assessing patients frequently, however. Noninvasive markers such as C-reactive protein, and fecal biomarkers such as calprotectin and lactoferrin, are therefore useful to confirm the inflammatory burden of the disease and to identify patients requiring further investigations.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies have identified mucosal healing on endoscopy as a key prognostic parameter in the management of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), thus highlighting the role of endoscopy for monitoring of disease activity in IBD. In fact, mucosal healing has emerged as a key treatment goal in IBD that predicts sustained clinical remission and resection-free survival of patients. The structural basis of mucosal healing is an intact barrier function of the gut epithelium that prevents translocation of commensal bacteria into the mucosa and submucosa with subsequent immune cell activation. Thus, mucosal healing should be considered as an initial event in the suppression of inflammation of deeper layers of the bowel wall, rather than as a sign of complete healing of gut inflammation. In this systematic review, the clinical studies on mucosal healing are summarised and the effects of anti-inflammatory or immunosuppressive drugs such as 5-aminosalicylates, corticosteroids, azathioprine, ciclosporin and anti-TNF antibodies (adalimumab, certolizumab pegol, infliximab) on mucosal healing are discussed. Finally, the implications of mucosal healing for subsequent clinical management in patients with IBD are highlighted.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2012 · Gut
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