Aim: To investigate the influence of thiopurines and biological drugs on the presence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) in patients with inactive Crohn's disease (CD).
Methods: This was a prospective study in patients with CD in remission and without corticosteroid treatment, included consecutively from 2004 to 2010. SIBO was investigated using the hydrogen glucose breath test.
Results: One hundred and seven patients with CD in remission were included. Almost 58% of patients used maintenance immunosuppressant therapy and 19.6% used biological therapy. The prevalence of SIBO was 16.8%. No association was observed between SIBO and the use of thiopurine Immunosuppressant (12/62 patients), administration of biological drugs (2/21 patients), or with double treatment with an anti-tumor necrosis factor drugs plus thiopurine (1/13 patients). Half of the patients had symptoms that were suggestive of SIBO, though meteorism was the only symptom that was significantly associated with the presence of SIBO on univariate analysis (P < 0.05). Multivariate analysis revealed that the presence of meteorism and a fistulizing pattern were associated with the presence of SIBO (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: Immunosuppressants and/or biological drugs do not induce SIBO in inactive CD. Fistulizing disease pattern and meteorism are associated with SIBO.
Keywords: Bacterial overgrowth; Biologics; Crohn’s disease; Inflammatory bowel disease; Thiopurines.