Endoscopic Assessment and Treating to Target Increase the Likelihood of Mucosal Healing in Patients With Crohn’s Disease

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Mucosal healing has been proposed as a goal for treatment because it is associated with improved clinical outcomes of patients with Crohn’s disease (CD). However, little is known about the feasibility or probability of achieving mucosal healing in clinical practice. We evaluated the feasibility of treating patients to achieve mucosal healing based on endoscopic evaluation (treating to target).


We reviewed the endoscopic outcomes of 67 patients with CD who had lesions detected by endoscopy. Patients underwent 2 to 4 subsequent endoscopic evaluations at the University of California San Diego and were followed up from 2011 through 2012; data were collected on therapies and patient management. The cumulative incidences of mucosal healing and endoscopic improvement were estimated using the Kaplan–Meier method. Factors independently associated with mucosal healing were identified using a Cox proportional hazards model.


After a median follow-up period of 62 weeks, 34 patients (50.7%) had mucosal healing and 41 patients (61.1%) had endoscopic improvement. The cumulative probabilities of mucosal healing were 12.7% and 45.0% at 24 and 52 weeks of treatment, respectively. Factors associated with mucosal healing were as follows: fewer than 26 weeks between endoscopic procedures (hazard ratio, 2.35; 95% confidence interval, 1.15–4.97;P= .035) and adjustment to medical therapy when mucosal healing was not observed (hazard ratio, 4.28; 95% confidence interval, 1.9–11.5;P= .0003).


In an endoscopic study of patients with CD, we found that assessment of endoscopic disease activity and adjustments to medical therapy (treat to target) increase the likelihood of mucosal healing.

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