Predicting Outcomes to Optimize Disease Management in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

J Crohns Colitis. 2016 Dec;10(12):1385-1394. doi: 10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjw116. Epub 2016 Jun 9.


Background and aims: Efforts to slow or prevent the progressive course of inflammatory bowel diseases [IBD] include early and intensive monitoring and treatment of patients at higher risk for complications. It is therefore essential to identify high-risk patients - both at diagnosis and throughout disease course.

Methods: As a part of an IBD Ahead initiative, we conducted a comprehensive literature review to identify predictors of long-term IBD prognosis and generate draft expert summary statements. Statements were refined at national meetings of IBD experts in 32 countries and were finalized at an international meeting in November 2014.

Results: Patients with Crohn's disease presenting at a young age or with extensive anatomical involvement, deep ulcerations, ileal/ileocolonic involvement, perianal and/or severe rectal disease or penetrating/stenosing behaviour should be regarded as high risk for complications. Patients with ulcerative colitis presenting at young age, with extensive colitis and frequent flare-ups needing steroids or hospitalization present increased risk for colectomy or future hospitalization. Smoking status, concurrent primary sclerosing cholangitis and concurrent infections may impact the course of disease. Current genetic and serological markers lack accuracy for clinical use.

Conclusions: Simple demographic and clinical features can guide the clinician in identifying patients at higher risk for disease complications at diagnosis and throughout disease course. However, many of these risk factors have been identified retrospectively and lack validation. Appropriately powered prospective studies are required to inform algorithms that can truly predict the risk for disease progression in the individual patient.

Keywords: Complications; Crohn’s disease; disease progression; prognostic factors; risk factors; ulcerative colitis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / diagnosis
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / pathology
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / therapy
  • Crohn Disease / diagnosis
  • Crohn Disease / pathology
  • Crohn Disease / therapy
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / diagnosis
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / pathology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / therapy*
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome