Four IBD Articles –Four Teaching Points

  1. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2014; 20: 1891-1901
  2. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2014; 20: 1996-2003
  3. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2014; 20: 2013-21.
  4. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2014; 20: 2056-66.

The first article is listed as a ‘basic science’ article.  However, it has direct relevance to the clinical problem of anti-TNF-induced psoriasiform skin lesions.  The article notes that this problem affects about 5% of patients treated with anti-TNF agents.  The authors found that IL-36γ and IL-17C are increased in anti-TNF-induced psoriasiform skin lesions of patients with Crohn’s disease (n=13 patients).  An important clinical point was that 7 of these patients with “severe anti-TNF induced skin lesions were successfully treated with the IL-12/IL-23 neutralizing antibody ustekinumab.”  This was superior to topical steroids or topical tacrolimus.

The second article is a proof-in-principle type article showing that proactive measurements of infliximab (IFX) levels may improve outcomes.  This retrospective observational study examined 48 patients who had proactive IFX levels. In 12 of 48, IFX dosing was escalated after the first proactive monitoring.  In addition, over the study period, 15% of patients had their dosing lowered. In those with proactive monitoring, the probability of remaining on IFX was >80%.  Those patients who achieved trough levels >5 mcg/mL had >90% probability of remaining on IFX therapy.  The authors hypothesize that better IFX levels may reduce anti-infliximab levels.

The third article examines carbohydrate intake in relation to the development of Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). The authors utilized the “EPIC” cohort (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) (Public Health Nutr 2002; 5: 1113-24).  among 401,326 enrollees at recruitment, the dietary intakes of carbohydrates were measured using validated food frequency questionnaires. In this cohort, 110 developed CD and 244 developed UC during followup. Key finding: there was no significant risk for IBD based on total carbohydrate intake.  This study does not exclude the possibility that specific carbohydrates could have an etiological role.

The fourth article, a case-control study (2002-2011),  examines risk factors for endoscopy-associated perforation and perforation-associated complications (PAC) in patients with and without IBD. n=217,334 lower endoscopies (with 9518 in IBD patients).  Perforation rates: 18.91 per 10,000 and 2.50 per 10,000 for IBD and non-IBD endoscopy respectively.  The use os systemic corticosteroids at the time of endoscopy was associated with a 13 times greater risk for PAC.

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