Background: Although isolated terminal ileal ulcerations (ITIUs) are occasionally observed on colonoscopic examination of asymptomatic individuals, their clinical course and guidelines for treatment are unclear.
Objective: To evaluate the clinical course and significance of ITIUs in asymptomatic individuals.
Design: Single-center retrospective analysis.
Setting: University hospital.
Patients and interventions: All patients diagnosed with ITIUs on colonoscopy from July 2001 to December 2007 were identified. Patients with colorectal symptoms, a history of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug consumption, a history of colorectal surgery, oral or genital ulcerations, and coincidental ulceration in the ileocecal valve or colon were excluded.
Main outcome measurements: Colonoscopic findings and clinical courses of patients were analyzed.
Results: Of the 148 included patients, 93 were followed (mean duration, 29.9 months). Of these, 62 showed resolution of ITIU on follow-up colonoscopy, including 60 who resolved without any treatment and 2 who resolved after antituberculosis medication. Follow-up colonoscopy continued to show ITIUs in the remaining 31 patients, only 1 of whom developed typical Crohn's disease, whereas the other 30 showed no significant changes in the lesions (n = 22), partial improvement (n = 6), or waxing and waning endoscopic appearance (n = 2).
Limitations: Retrospective design, relatively short-term follow-up.
Conclusions: Most ITIUs incidentally observed in asymptomatic individuals resolve without any treatment. Even if these lesions persist, it is unusual for them to progress or to cause any symptoms.
Copyright © 2010 American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.