Advances in the Comprehensive Management of Postoperative Crohn's Disease

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2022 Jul;20(7):1436-1449.doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2021.03.048. Epub 2021 Apr 2.


Robert Battat 1William J Sandborn 2


Author information

1Jill Roberts Center for IBD, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, New York. Electronic address: rob9175@med.cornell.edu.

2Division of Gastroenterology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California.


Patients with postoperative Crohn's disease are difficult to manage because of their risk of experiencing a more severe course, multiple symptom confounders, and poor sensitivity of symptomatic remission to rule out intestinal inflammation. In this group, data are lacking on biologic therapeutic efficacy, and recommendations are lacking for those with multiple medication failures. Novel noninvasive testing can simultaneously exclude alternate causes of symptoms (serum C4, fecal fat, small intestinal bowel overgrowth breath testing) and assess intestinal inflammation (fecal calprotectin, endoscopic healing index). In addition, endoscopy-based disease activity assessment and management are required. Endoscopy should be performed within 6 months of surgery, and aggressive disease activity monitoring can be considered with colonoscopy every 1-2 years subsequently to ensure late recurrence is detected. Patients with multiple resections should be screened for short bowel syndrome. Predictive biomarkers are needed to guide medication selection in this high-risk population. Postoperative prophylactic biologic therapy is prudent for patients with preoperative biologic failure. However, there are no high-quality data to guide which agent should be selected. Selecting biologics with an alternative mechanism of action in those who had failed a biologic with adequate drug concentrations and selection of different agents in those with previous intolerance are reasonable. Significantly more study is required to assess the efficacy of therapies in this setting.



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