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Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2011 December;57(4):335-44


language: English

Natural history of ileo-caecal Crohn’s disease after surgical resection. A long term study

Margagnoni G., Aratari A., Mangone M., Moretti A., Spagnolo A., Fascì Spurio F., Luchetti R., Papi C.

Gastroenterology and Hepatology Unit, S. Filippo Neri Hospital, Rome, Italy


AIM:Surgery is an almost inevitable event in Crohn’s disease (CD) but is not curative; postoperative recurrence follows a predictable course. Several factors potentially affecting the risk of recurrence have been investigated but results are largely inconclusive. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the long-term course of ileo-caecal CD after surgery and to identify possible predictors of clinical and surgical recurrence.
METHODS:Patients with ileo-caecal CD who had undergone surgical resection and with at least one year of post-operative follow-up were studied. The postoperative course was retrospectively evaluated. The primary end-points were clinical recurrence (defined as reappearance of symptoms requiring steroid treatment in the presence of endoscopic and/or radiologic recurrence) and surgical recurrence, defined as need for reoperation.
RESULTS: Two hundred and twelve patients were included in the study. Median follow-up after surgery was 117 months (interquartile range 51-216). The cumulative probability of a post-operative course without clinical and surgical recurrence after 30, 60, 90, 120 months was 78.2%, 69.4%, 58.0%, 50.6% and 97.0%, 96.4%, 85.6%, 72% respectively. Early surgery (within three years from diagnosis) was associated with a longer postoperative course without clinical recurrence compared with late surgery (performed after three years from diagnosis). None of the other clinical variables considered (gender, age, family history for IBD, smoking habits, pattern of CD, and postoperative prophylactic treatment) was associated with the risk of clinical and surgical recurrence
CONCLUSION: Surgery is an excellent treatment for patients with isolated ileo-caecal CD. The overall long-term outcome is good: by 10 years after operation approximately 50% of patients are free of clinical recurrence and over 70% do not require further surgery. Surgery, therefore, continues to play an important role in ileo-caecal CD and should therefore not be considered only a failure of medical treatment.

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