Background and aims: Anti TNF therapy induces mucosal healing in patients with Crohn's disease, but the effects on transmural inflammation in the ileum are not well understood. Magnetic resonance-enteroclysis (MRE) offers excellent imaging of transmural and peri-enteric lesions in Crohn's ileitis and we aimed to study its responsiveness to anti TNF therapy.
Methods: In this multi-center prospective trial, anti TNF naïve patients with ileal Crohn's disease and with increased CRP and contrast enhanced wall thickening received infliximab 5 mg/kg at weeks 0, 2 and 6, and q8 weeks maintenance MRE was performed at baseline, 2 weeks and 6 months and assessed based on a predefined MRE score of severity in ileal Crohn's Disease.
Results: Twenty patients were included; of those, 18 patients underwent MRE at week 2 and 15 patients at weeks 2 and 26 as scheduled. Inflammatory components of the MRE index decreased by ≥2 points and by ≥50% at week 26 (primary endpoint) in 40% and 32% of patients (per protocol and intention to treat analysis, respectively). The MRE index improved in 44% at week 2 and in 80% at week 26. Complete absence of inflammatory lesions was observed in 0/18 at week 2 and 13% (2/15) at week 26. The obstructive elements did not change. Clinical and CRP improvement occurred as early as wk 2, but only CDAI correlated with the MRE index.
Conclusion: Improvement of MRE occurs from 2 weeks after infliximab therapy onwards and correlates with clinical response but normalization of MRE is rare.
Keywords: Anti-TNF therapy; Complications; Crohn's disease; Imaging; MR enteroclysis.
Copyright © 2013 European Crohn's and Colitis Organisation. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.