Current noninvasive modalities in Crohn’s disease monitoring
Crohn’s disease (CD) is characterized by a remitting and relapsing course. Longstanding active CD may result in accumulating intestinal damage and disease-related complications. In contrast, mucosal healing is associated with significant improvement in the health-related quality of life, longer periods of disease remission and lower risk of disease progression, complications, hospitalizations, intestinal surgeries, as well as a lower risk of developing colorectal cancer. Mucosal healing, the new treatment endpoint in CD, made necessary the development of noninvasive, accurate, objective and reliable tools for the evaluation of CD activity. Ileocolonoscopy with biopsies remains the reference standard method for the evaluation of the colonic and terminal ileal mucosa. However, it is an invasive procedure with a low risk of complications, allowing the investigation of only a small part of the small bowel mucosa without being able to assess transmural inflammation. These disadvantages limit its role in the frequent follow up of CD patients. In this review, we present the currently available biomarkers and imaging modalities for the noninvasive assessment of CD activity.
Keywords Crohn’s disease, monitoring, disease activity
Ann Gastroenterol 2021; 34 (6): 770-780