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Dilation of colonic strictures by intralesional injection of infliximab in patients with Crohn's colitis



Background: Intestinal stenosis is a frequent complication of Crohn's disease, often leading to repeated bowel obstruction and surgery. The prevalence of small bowel stenosis has ranged from 20% to 40% and from 7% to 15% in patients with colonic disease. Although balloon dilation is the initial preferred approach, many patients eventually restenose and require surgical resection or stricturoplasty. Infliximab, a chimeric IgG1 kappa monoclonal antibody against TNF-alpha, has been effective in the treatment of enteric as well as fistulous complications of Crohn's disease. Repeated systemic administration has been successful for active inflammatory disease yet has been reported to be ineffective in the treatment of strictures. Although the TREAT registry has shown systemic infliximab to be safe in the long term, there is concern regarding infectious as well as neoplastic complications.

Methods: This report describes 3 patients refractory to all medical therapy including systemic infliximab.

Results: In all 3 patients, dilation of a colonic stricture was accomplished by injection of infliximab, via the sclerotherapy technique, into the distal and medial portions of the stricture.

Conclusions: Infliximab was shown to be effective in the treatment of strictures in 3 patients.

(Inflamm Bowel Dis 2007)