Structural bowel damage in quiescent Crohn’s disease

Published:February 12, 2017DOI:



      Crohn’s disease is associated with accumulation of progressive structural bowel damage (SBD) leading to the development of stenotic and penetrating complications. The data pertaining to the course of progression of SBD is scarce. The Lemann index (LI) is a novel tool for evaluation of SBD that incorporates pan-enteric clinical, endoscopic and imaging data.


      To evaluate the progression of SBD in quiescent CD patients.


      Patients with known quiescent small bowel Crohn’s disease (CD) for at least 3 months (CDAI < 220) were prospectively recruited and underwent repeated magnetic resonance enterographies (MRE) and video capsule endoscopies (VCE). Patients were assessed for SBD on initial and follow-up evaluation using relevant clinicopathological data, MRE and VCE results. Significant structural bowel damage (SBD) was identified as LI > 4.8, and progression of SBD as LI > 0.3.


      Sixty one patients were enrolled in the study. Significant SBD was detected 13 (21.4%) on enrollment. Duration of disease (p = 0.036) and history of CD-related surgery (p = 0.0001) were associated with significant BD. Forty one patients underwent a follow-up MRE (14.8 ± 2.5 months apart). LI was similar at baseline and follow-up. There was a negligible change in LI between the evaluations.


      In patients with quiescent Crohn’s disease, structural bowel damage was stable over a median of 14 months follow-up.


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