Background and aims: Histological scoring plays a key role in the assessment of disease activity in ulcerative colitis [UC] and is also important in Crohn´s disease [CD]. Currently, there is no common scoring available for UC and CD. We aimed to validate the Inflammatory Bowel Disease [IBD]-Distribution [D], Chronicity [C], Activity [A] score [IBD-DCA score] for histological disease activity assessment in IBD.
Methods: Inter- and intra-rater reliability were assessed by 16 observers on biopsy specimens from 59 patients with UC and 25 patients with CD. Construct validity and responsiveness to treatment were retrospectively evaluated in a second cohort of 30 patients.
Results: Inter-rater reliability was moderate to good for the UC cohort (intraclass correlation coefficients [ICCs] = 0.645, 0.623, 0.767 for D, C, and A, respectively) and at best moderate for the CD cohort [ICC = 0.690, 0.303, 0.733 for D, C, and A, respectively]. Intra-rater agreement ranged from good to excellent in both cohorts. Correlation with the Nancy Histological Index [NHI] was moderate and strong with the Simplified Geboes Score [SGS] and a Visual Analogue Scale [VAS], respectively. Large effect sizes were obtained for all three parameters. External responsiveness analysis revealed correlated changes between IBD-DCA score and NHI, SGS and VAS.
Conclusions: The IBD-DCA score is a simple histological activity score for UC and CD, agreed and validated by a large group of IBD specialists. It provides reliable information on treatment response. Therefore, it has potential value for use in routine diagnostics as well as clinical studies.
Keywords: Histological index; IBD-DCA; inflammatory bowel disease.
© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation.