Treatment With Biologic Agents Has Not Reduced Surgeries Among Patients With Crohn’s Disease With Short Bowel Syndrome

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Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS:

Little is known about the effects of biologic agents used to treat Crohn’s disease (CD) on its long-term complications, such as short bowel syndrome and intestinal failure (SBS-IF). We evaluated trends in small bowel resections and health care utilization among patients with CD with and without SBS-IF.

METHODS:

We collected data on the National Inpatient Sample on 2,989,185 patients hospitalized with CD in the United States before the time period in which CD was treated with biologic agents (1993–1997) and after biologic therapy became widespread (1998–2014). We used Poisson and linear regression analyses to evaluate trends for small bowel resections and health care utilization among patients with CD with and without SBS-IF. Multivariable models were adjusted for age, sex, Charlson-Deyo comorbidity index, payer source, hospital size, region, and teaching status.

RESULTS:

The proportions of patients who underwent resection did not significantly change during the period before biologic therapy (121.8 per 1000 hospitalizations in 1993 to 110.1 per 1000 hospitalizations in 1997;Ptrend =.14) but decreased significantly during the period after biologic therapy began (99.0 per 1000 hospitalizations in 1998 to 64.6 per 1000 hospitalizations in 2014;Ptrend < .01). However, among patients with SBS-IF, similar proportions of patients underwent resection during the period before biologic therapy (0.7 per 1000 hospitalizations in 1993 to 0.7 per 1000 hospitalizations in 1997;Ptrend = .92) and during the period after biologic therapy (0.6 per 1000 hospitalizations in 1998 to 0.7 per 1000 hospitalizations in 2014;Ptrend = .06). Rates of hospitalization for patients with SBS-IF increased from 16.5 per 1000 hospitalizations in 1998 to 19.5 per 1000 hospitalizations in 2014 (Ptrend < .01). SBS-IF hospitalizations were associated with longer lengths of stay (P <.01) and greater total charges (P <.01).

CONCLUSIONS:

In a study of the United States population, we found that the use of biologic agents to treat CD reduced the proportion of patients undergoing resection, but not among patients with SBS-IF. These findings indicate that biologic agents reduce some but not all features of CD. Studies are needed to identify patients at risk for SBS-IF, prevent and treat this complication, and identify new treatments.

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