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Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas

Print version ISSN 1130-0108


GOMEZ-SENENT, Silvia; BARREIRO-DE-ACOSTA, Manuel  and  GARCIA-SANCHEZ, Valle. Enterocutaneous fistulas and Crohn's disease: Clinical characteristics and response to treatment. Rev. esp. enferm. dig. [online]. 2013, vol.105, n.1, pp.3-6. ISSN 1130-0108.

Introduction: the low prevalence of enterocutaneous fistulas (ECF) in patients with Crohn's disease (CD) justifies the scarcity of studies that analyze the effect of medical treatment and the need for surgery in these patients. The objective of this study was to evaluate the clinical characteristics of patients with CD who have ECF and the response to different treatments. Materials and methods: patients with CD who presented ECF fistula between 1970 and 2009 in three tertiary centers in Spain were analyzed retrospectively for their clinical characteristics, response to treatment as well as the correlation between the response to biological therapies for ECF and perianal disease. The inflammatory activity of the disease was measured using the Harvey-Bradshaw index. The definitions of partial or complete response were based on the treating physician's judgment. Results: twenty six patients were included (18 women); in more than half of cases (67%), anti-TNF treatment improved fistula drainage. Postoperative fistulas responded better to anti-TNF treatment than did spontaneous fistulas (80 versus 57%). One hundred percent and 60% of spontaneous and postoperative fistulas closed after surgery, respectively. Conclusions: although the majority of patients required surgery as the ultimate treatment, anti-TNF drugs improved fistula output in an acceptable percentage of patients who were treated. Therefore, this may be a treatment strategy prior to surgery in a select group of patients.

Keywords : Crohn's disease; Enterocutaneous fistula; Treatment.

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