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Ultrasonography Tight Control and Monitoring in Crohn's Disease

Ultrasonography Tight Control and Monitoring in Crohn's Disease During Different Biological Therapies: A Multicenter Study

Emma Calabrese, Antonio Rispo, Francesca Zorzi, Elena De Cristofaro, etal.,

Published Mar 2021, in Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology.


Background & aims: Bowel ultrasonography (BUS) is a noninvasive tool for evaluating bowel activity in Crohn's disease (CD) patients. Aim of our multicenter study was to assess whether BUS helps to monitor intestinal activity improvement/resolution following different biological therapies.

Methods: Adult CD patients were prospectively enrolled at 16 sites in Italy. Changes in BUS parameters [i.e. bowel wall thickening (BWT), lesion length, echo pattern, blood flow changes and transmural healing (TH: normalization of all BUS parameters)] were analyzed at baseline and after 3, 6 and 12 months of different biological therapies.

Results: One hundred eighty-eight out of 201 CD patients were enrolled and analyzed (116 males [62%]; median age 36 years). Fifty-five percent of patients were treated with adalimumab, 16% with infliximab, 13% with vedolizumab and 16% with ustekinumab. TH rates at 12 months were 27.5% with an NNT of 3.6. TH at 12 months after adalimumab was 26.8%, 37% after infliximab, 27.2% after vedolizumab and 20% after ustekinumab. Mean BWT improvement from baseline was statistically significant at 3 and 12 months (P < .0001). Median Harvey-Bradshaw index, C-reactive protein and fecal calprotectin decreased after 12 months from baseline (P < .0001). Logistic regression analysis showed colonic lesion was associated with a higher risk of TH at 3 months and a greater BWT at baseline was associated with a lower risk of TH at 3 months [P = .03 (OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.50-0.97)] and 12 months [P = .01 (OR 0.58, 95% CI 0.38-0.89)]. At 3 months therapy optimization during the study was the only independent factor associated with a higher risk of no ultrasonographic response [P = .02 (OR 3.34, 95% CI 1.18-9.47)] and at 12 months disease duration [P = .02 (OR 3.03, 95% CI 1.15-7.94)].

Conclusions: Data indicate that BUS is useful to monitor biologics-induced bowel activity improvement/resolution in CD.

Keywords: Biologicals; Bowel Ultrasonography; Crohn’s Disease; Imaging; Inflammation; Monitoring.


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