Introduction: Crohn's disease is a chronic condition of the gastrointestinal tract. It is characterised by transmural, granulomatous inflammation that occurs in a discontinuous pattern, with a tendency to form fistulae. The cause is unknown but may depend on interactions between genetic predisposition, environmental triggers, and mucosal immunity.
Methods and outcomes: We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of medical treatments to induce remission in adults with Crohn's disease? What are the effects of surgical interventions to induce and maintain remission in adults with small-bowel Crohn's disease? What are the effects of surgical interventions to induce remission in adults with colonic Crohn's disease? What are the effects of medical interventions to maintain remission in adults with Crohn's disease; and to maintain remission following surgery? What are the effects of lifestyle interventions to maintain remission in adults with Crohn's disease? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to December 2009 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Results: We found 93 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria.
Conclusions: In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: aminosalicylates, antibiotics, azathioprine/mercaptopurine, ciclosporin, corticosteroids (oral), enteral nutrition, fish oil, infliximab, methotrexate, probiotics, resection, segmental colectomy, smoking cessation, and strictureplasty.