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Journal of Crohn's and Colitis: 9 (9)


Laurence J. Egan, Ireland

Associate Editors

Maria T. Abreu, USAShomron Ben-Horin, IsraelSilvio Danese, ItalyPeter Lakatos, HungaryMiles Parkes, UKGijs van den Brink, NLSéverine Vermeire, Belgium


Published on behalf of

The second European evidence-based Consensus on the diagnosis and management of Crohn's disease: Current management

A. Dignass, G. Van Assche, J.O. Lindsay, M. Lémann, J. Söderholm, J.F. Colombel, S. Danese, A. D'Hoore, M. Gassull, F. Gomollón, D.W. Hommes, P. Michetti, C. O'Morain, T. Öresland, A. Windsor, E.F. Stange, S.P.L. Travis,
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.crohns.2009.12.002 28-62 First published online: 1 February 2010
  • Crohn's disease
  • Mesalazine
  • Steroids
  • Budesonide
  • Azathioprine
  • Infliximab
  • Adalimumab
  • Surgery

This paper is the second in a series of three publications relating to the European evidence-based consensus on the diagnosis and management of Crohn's disease and concerns the management of active disease, maintenance of medically induced remission and surgery. The aims and methods of the ECCO Consensus, as well as sections on diagnosis and classification are covered in the first paper [van Assche et al. JCC 2009a]. The final paper covers post-operative recurrence, fistulating disease, the management of paediatric and adolescent IBD, pregnancy, psychosomatics, extraintestinal manifestations and complementary or alternative therapy for Crohn's disease [Van Assche et al JCC 2009b].

Principal changes with respect to the 2006 ECCO guidelines

The early use of azathioprine/mercaptopurine or methotrexate in combination with steroids is an appropriate option in moderately active localised ileocaecal CD. Anti-TNF therapy should be considered as an alternative for patients with objective evidence of active disease who have previously been steroid-refractory, steroid-dependent, or steroid-intolerant (based on Statement 5B).

For those patients with severely active localised ileocaecal Crohn's disease and objective evidence of active disease who have relapsed, anti-TNF therapy with or without an immunomodulator is an appropriate option [EL1a, RG B for infliximab]. For some patients who have infrequently relapsing disease, restarting steroids with an immunomodulator may be appropriate (based on Statement 5C).

All currently available anti-TNF therapies appear to have generally similar efficacy and adverse-event profiles for inflammatory (‘luminal’) Crohn's disease, so the choice depends on availability, route of delivery, patient preference, cost and national guidelines [EL5, RG D] (Statement 5I).

Patients receiving azathioprine or mercaptopurine who relapse should be evaluated for adherence to therapy and have their dose optimised. Changing their maintenance therapy to methotrexate [EL1b RG B] or anti-TNF therapy [EL1a RGB] should be considered. Surgery should always be considered as an option in localised disease [EL4, …

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