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Preventing Collateral Damage in Crohn’s Disease: The Lémann Index

Gionata Fiorino, Cristiana Bonifacio, Laurent Peyrin-Biroulet, Silvio Danese J Crohns Colitis

(2016) 10 (4): 495-500 First published online: 7 January 2016 (6 pages) 


Crohn’s disease [CD] is a chronic progressive and destructive condition. Half of all CD patients will develop bowel damage at 10 years. As in rheumatic diseases, preventing the organ damage consequent to CD complications [fistula, abscess, and/or stricture] is emerging as a new therapeutic goal for these patients in clinical practice. This might be the only way to alter disease course, as surgery is often required for disease complications. Similar to the joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis, bowel damage has also emerged as a new endpoint in disease-modification trials such as the REACT trial. Recently, the Lemann Index [LI] has been developed to measure CD-related bowel damage, and to assess damage progression over time, in order to evaluate the impact of therapeutic strategies in terms of preventing bowel damage. While validation is pending, recent reports suggested that bowel damage is reversible by anti-tumour necrosis factor [TNF] therapy. The Lémann index may play a key role in CD management, and should be implemented in all upcoming disease-modification trials in CD.

Copyright © 2016 European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. 

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