Background and aims: We analyzed the prevalence of concomitant intestinal stenosis in patients with fistulizing Crohn's disease (CD), including the NOD2/CARD15 and IL23R genotype status.
Methods: Medical records of n = 1,110 patients with inflammatory bowel diseases were screened for patients with fistulizing and stricturing CD. Study inclusion required diagnosis of stenosis made within 6 months of diagnosing fistulas. CD-associated NOD2 and IL23R variants were genotyped. Similarly, we prospectively investigated 42 patients presenting with fistulizing CD.
Results: In the retrospective study (n = 333 CD patients), fistulas were found in 145 (43.5%) patients and stenoses in 223 (67.0%) patients. Concomitant stenosis was diagnosed in 125 patients with fistulas resulting in a positive predictive value (PPV) of 86.2% for fistulas predicting intestinal stenosis (p = 5.53 x 10(-11); OR 5.74, 95% CI 3.22-10.50). In logistic regression analysis, presence of fistulas (OR 4.51; 95% CI 2.54-8.01, p = 2.68 x 10(-7)) and disease duration (OR 1.09; 95% CI 1.05-1.13; p = 3.19 x 10(-6)) were strongly associated with intestinal stenosis. NOD2 genotype information, but not IL23R status, increased the PPV for the correct diagnosis of stenosis (PPV = 89.9%). All homozygous carriers (100%) of NOD2 variants with fistulizing CD were diagnosed with stenosis; 1007fs homozygotes were found more often among patients with fistulas and stenoses than in patients without stenoses and fistulas (p = 0.00037). Similar results were found in the prospective analysis, in which 83.3% of the patients with fistulizing CD had concomitant stenosis.
Conclusion: Fistulizing CD is strongly associated with concomitant intestinal stenosis, particularly in homozygous carriers of NOD2 mutations.