Background: Fistulizing Crohn's disease (CD) presents a therapeutic challenge as fistulae are notoriously difficult to heal. Mycobacterium avium ss paratuberculosis (MAP) treatment in CD is gaining attention.
Aim: We evaluated healing of CD fistula(e) using a novel combination therapy.
Study: Nine consecutive patients who failed to heal fistulae on conventional treatment including anti-TNF, were treated with at least three doses of infliximab, 18-30 courses of hyperbaric oxygen therapy and anti-MAP antibiotics comprising rifabutin, clarithromycin and clofazimine.
Results: All patients achieved complete healing of fistulae by 6-28 weeks and follow-up for mean 18 months.
Conclusion: Combining infliximab, hyperbaric oxygen therapy and anti-MAP, seems to enable healing of recalcitrant fistulae and although a small case series, all nine patients achieved complete healing.
Keywords: Crohn's disease; Mycobacterium avium ss paratuberculosis; fistula; hyperbaric oxygen therapy; infliximab.