- The kidney function monitoring is recommended in routine practice to detect 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA) related nephrotoxicity, although is not standardized. The optimal monitoring is unknown, especially the best timing and which tests to perform. We summarized why, how, and when to perform the monitoring for patients treated with 5-ASA and provided an overview of the current guidelines on this topic.
- The high cost of biological drugs for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) considerably impacts on health-care budgets. Since the patent of biological products expired, cheaper biosimilars have entered the market. Available data coming from real-world cohorts and clinical trials indicate that the efficacy and safety of biosimilars is comparable to that of the originator drugs. Treating IBD patients with a biosimilar may be complicated by the risk of the nocebo effect, a negative effect of a pharmacological or non-pharmacological treatment, induced by patients’s expectations and unrelated to the physiological action of the treatment.
- Biologics against tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) have dramatically changed the management of moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis (UC). In pivotal clinical trials, golimumab showed efficacy as induction and maintenance therapy in anti-TNF naïve UC patients. However, confirmatory data on effectiveness in the real world setting are needed.
- Cancer may be a complication of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or its treatments. In older Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis patients, the risk of malignancy is of particular concern. IBD diagnosis at an advanced age is associated with earlier development of colitis-associated colorectal cancer. Thiopurine use in older IBD patients is tied to an increased risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, nonmelanoma skin cancer, and urinary tract cancers. Additionally, older age is accompanied by multimorbidity, an increased risk of malnutrition, and decreased life expectancy, factors that complicate the management of cancer in the elderly.
- Ileocolonoscopy remains the gold standard in diagnosing postoperative recurrence. After excluding stricture, wireless capsule endoscopy seemed accurate in small series, but no validated score is available. Ultrasonography is a non-invasive diagnostic method reducing radiation exposure and emerging as an alternative tool for identifying post-operative recurrence. Computed tomography enteroclysis yields objective morphologic criteria that help differentiate between recurrent disease and fibrostenosis at the anastomotic site, but ionising radiation exposure limits its use.