BACKGROUND & AIMS:
The Rutgeerts’ scoring system is used to evaluate patients with Crohn’s disease (CD) following ileocolic resection, based on endoscopic findings at the anastomosis and in the neoterminal ileum. We investigated rates of clinical and surgical recurrence of CD after surgery and effect of therapy modification based on post-operative endoscopic findings.
We collected data from 365 adults with CD (20% with Rutgeerts’ score i0, 10% with score i1, 49% with score i2, 12% with score i3, 9% with score i4) who underwent ileocolonoscopy within 12 months of ileocolic resection with anastomosis from 2000 through 2013 at 2 centers in Belgium and France. Patients were followed for 3 y or more after the ileocolonoscopy. Clinical post-operative recurrence (POR) was defined as occurrence of CD symptoms along with biologic, radiologic, and/or endoscopic features of disease activity; modified surgical POR was defined as either an endoscopic or surgical intervention.
After a median follow-up time of 88 months, 48% of patients had clinical POR and 26% had modified surgical POR. Rates of survival without clinical POR or a modified surgical POR were lower in patients with Rutgeerts’ scores of i2, i3, or i4 compared to patients with scores of i0 or i1 (P<.001 and P=.02). New immunosuppressant or biological therapy was initiated following endoscopy in 129/254 patients (51%) with Rutgeerts’ score of i2, i3, or i4 vs 7/111 patients (6%) with scores of i0 or i1 (odds ratio for new therapy, 14.9; 95% CI, 7.1-36.8; P<.001). A modest decrease in risk of clinical POR was observed for patients with Rutgeerts scores of i3 or i4 after initiation of immunosuppressive or biological therapy based on endoscopic findings (Breslow P=.03), but this was not observed for patients with scores of i2 (Breslow P=.46).
Use of immunosuppressants and tumor necrosis factor antagonists to treat patients with an asymptomatic endoscopic post-operative recurrence of CD did not reduce long-term risk of clinical recurrence in patients with Rutgeerts’ scores of i2, but it had a small effect in patients with scores of i3 or i4.
IBD; TNF; inflammatory bowel diseases; prognostic factor