A prospective study of the safety of lower gastrointestinal endoscopy during pregnancy in patients with inflammatory bowel disease

J Crohns Colitis. 2015 Jul;9(7):519-24. doi: 10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjv079. Epub 2015 May 4.


Introduction: Women with inflammatory bowel disease [IBD] have a higher risk of undergoing gastrointestinal [GI] endoscopy during pregnancy than healthy women. Data on endoscopic procedures during pregnancy in IBD women are limited. The aim of this study was to investigate the safety of lower GI endoscopy during pregnancy in IBD women.

Methods: All consecutive IBD women who underwent endoscopy during pregnancy [cases] from 2008-2014 were prospectively included. Cases were matched 1:1 on age, IBD medication, and disease activity with pregnant IBD patients without endoscopy during pregnancy [controls]. Maternal and neonatal outcomes were compared between the cases and controls. Adverse events [AEs] were assessed for a temporal relation and for an aetiological relation with the endoscopy.

Results: In total, 42 pregnant IBD patients [19 Crohn's disease, 23 ulcerative colitis] underwent 47 lower GI endoscopies [12 colonoscopies/35 sigmoidoscopies]. Median maternal age was 30 years [interquartile range: 28-32]. Two spontaneous abortions were temporally and probably related to endoscopy; however, spontaneous abortion did not occur more often in cases than in controls (2 [4.8%] vs 10 [23.8%], p 0.01). Median birthweight was significantly lower in the cases compared with controls [3017g vs 3495g, p 0.01]. There were no significant differences in terms of gestational age at birth, congenital abnormalities, or APGAR scores.

Conclusion: Although lower GI endoscopy in pregnant IBD women should only be performed when strongly indicated, we report no increased adverse outcomes for the mother or the newborn related to endoscopy in any of the three trimesters of pregnancy compared with controls.

Keywords: Endoscopy; inflammatory bowel disease; pregnancy.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / epidemiology*
  • Abortion, Spontaneous / etiology
  • Adult
  • Apgar Score
  • Birth Weight*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / pathology
  • Congenital Abnormalities / epidemiology
  • Crohn Disease / pathology
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimesters
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sigmoidoscopy / adverse effects*