Abstract

What Is a Flare? The Manitoba Living With IBD Study

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2021 Aug 4;izab192. doi: 10.1093/ibd/izab192. Online ahead of print.

Kelcie Witges 1, Kathryn Sexton 1, Lesley A Graff 1 2, Laura E Targownik 1 3, Lisa M Lix 1 4, Clove Haviva 1, James Stone 1 5, Leigh Anne Shafer 1 5, Kathy Vagianos 1 6, Charles N Bernstein 1 5

 
     

Author information

  • 1University of Manitoba IBD Clinical and Research Centre, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.
  • 2Department of Clinical Health Psychology Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.
  • 3Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • 4Department of Community Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.
  • 5Department of Internal Medicine, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.
  • 6Department of Nutrition and Food Services, Health Sciences Centre, Winnipeg, Canada.

Abstract

Background: Flare is a poorly defined term used by patients and clinicians to indicate inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) status. This study aimed to evaluate the validity of a single-item 7-point flare indicator relative to other measures of disease flare.

Methods: The longitudinal Manitoba Living with IBD Study followed persons with IBD for 1 year; they completed biweekly online surveys and provided 3 stool samples. Disease flare on a single-item flare indicator with 7 possible responses developed for the study was defined by report of symptoms as "moderately" or "much" worse. The flare indicator was evaluated against 5 measures of disease activity: fecal calprotectin score (FCAL), a 2-point disease status indicator, a 4-point flare certainty indicator, the IBD Symptom Index short form (SIBDSI), and the short form IBD Questionnaire (SIBDQ). Participants in a flare, based on the 7-point measure, were matched to a nonflaring participant, and a stool sample was collected.

Results: Of the 155 IBD participants, almost half (n = 74) experienced a flare. Of those who flared, 97.0% endorsed active IBD on the 2-point indicator (controls 42.5%; P < .001); 91.9% endorsed active IBD on the 4-point certainty indicator (controls 32.9%; P < .001); 90.5% endorsed active disease on the SIBDSI (controls 34.2%; P < .001); and 48.5% had an elevated FCAL (controls 34.3%; P < .05). The mean SIBDQ was lower for the flare group compared with controls (43.9 [SD 11.1] vs 58.3 [SD 8.5]; P < .001), indicating worse disease.

Conclusions: The 7-point flare indicator robustly identified symptomatic flares. This patient self-report indicator reflected meaningful changes in more complex clinical indices and had only weak concordance with the presence of inflammation.

 

 

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