Controlled trial of antituberculous chemotherapy in Crohn's disease: a five year follow up study

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Abstract

Background

It has been suggested that Mycobacterium paratuberculosis is the cause of Crohn's disease. In a previous report the immediate effect of two years treatment with antituberculous chemotherapy showed no clinical benefit.

Aims

To assess both the immediate and longer term effect of treatment on the disease.

Methods

Patients were followed for five years from their date of entry to the study. One hundred and thirty patients entered the initial study, and of these 111 (81%) were followed regularly.

Results

Overall, there was no evidence of consistent benefit or disadvantage from antituberculous chemotherapy in any of the assessments made, including the number of acute relapses, surgical episodes, hospital admissions, disease activity, blood tests, or medication required for Crohn's disease during the follow up period.

Conclusion

The absence of any benefit at the end of the initial two year trial period, and during the three year subsequent follow up, fails to support the hypothesis that mycobacteria play an important part in the pathogenesis of Crohn's disease, or that antituberculous chemotherapy may be of benefit.

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