Background: The efficacy of biologic agents in Crohn's disease (CD) has led to proposals that they be introduced early in the disease (top-down treatment) with the aim of reducing corticosteroid dependency and surgical resection. However, the long-term use of biologic agents in limited CD may be difficult to justify. The aims were to assess outcomes for ileocecal resection in CD and evaluate its role in the current era.
Methods: The study included 139 CD patients who underwent ileocecal resection between 1980 and 2000. Data were retrieved from a prospectively maintained database. Disease recurrence was defined as symptoms in addition to endoscopic or radiological evidence of disease activity. Severe disease recurrence was defined as a need for repeat resection surgery.
Results: Seventy-two (52%) patients developed disease recurrence. Median (interquartile range) time to recurrence was 7.1 (5–10.6) years. Forty-nine (35%) patients required repeat resection surgery. Median (IQ range) time to repeat surgery was 7.2 (4.9–10.8) years. The presence of granulomas was associated with disease recurrence (P = 0.03) and repeat resection surgery (P = 0.01).
Conclusions: Long-term outcomes for ileocecal resection in CD are excellent with 48% of patients remaining symptom-free and only 35% requiring repeat resection surgery at 10 years. This should be borne in mind when considering biologic therapy.
(Inflamm Bowel Dis 2007)