Transplant effective in treating those with severe Crohn's disease, study shows

December 18, 2012, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

(Medical Xpress)—Patients suffering from severe Crohn's disease who were no longer able to tolerate intravenous feedings were able to return to a normal oral diet and saw no clinical recurrences of the disease after undergoing intestinal or multivisceral transplants, according to a study of cases performed at UPMC over more than 20 years.

The study is the largest of its kind examining the efficacy of transplant in patients with end-stage Crohn's disease. It was presented at the 2012 Advances in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, the clinical and research conference of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation, in Hollywood, Fla., on Dec. 15.

"Intestinal transplantation was developed here at UPMC, and, as in this specialized surgery, we have a wealth of data that other centers don't," said Guilherme Costa, M.D., interim director, UPMC Intestinal Rehabilitation and Transplantation Center, who presented the study. "What that data show us is that intestinal and multivisceral transplant works to save the lives of those patients suffering from the most severe symptoms of Crohn's disease."

Crohn's is a chronic bowel disease that can cause inflammation, ulcers and bleeding in the . Patients suffering from a severe form of the disease often have irreversible intestinal failure and sometimes need to receive nutrition through a tube inserted into a vein, known as total perenteral nutrition (TPN). Patients unable to tolerate TPN are often referred for an intestinal transplant.

In the study, UPMC researchers looked at 309 who received intestinal and multivisceral transplants between 1990 and June 2012. Of these, 57 had Crohn's disease with irreversible , and all had failed TPN therapy with multiple line infections. Twenty-one percent, or 12, of these patients also required a because they suffered from end-stage liver failure; 43 had just an intestinal transplant; and two patients had a modified multivisceral graft that included the stomach, duodenum, pancreas and intestine.

The study found the patient survival rate was 90 percent at one year, 74 percent at three years, 56 percent at five years, and 43 percent at 10 years. Inclusion of the donor liver was associated with better long-term survival outcome with a 10-year survival rate of 57 percent. All survivors achieved full nutritional autonomy, enjoying an unrestricted oral diet after transplant.

"The success we've seen in our patients is an indicator that offers real hope to Crohn's patients who have been debilitated by this disease," Dr. Costa said.

Explore further: Clinical trial seeks to cure advanced Crohn's disease using bone marrow transplant

Related Stories

Clinical trial seeks to cure advanced Crohn's disease using bone marrow transplant

July 23, 2012
Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have opened a clinical trial to test the theory that giving a patient a new immune system can cure severe cases of Crohn's disease, a chronic inflammatory condition of ...

Study finds potential new drug therapy for Crohn's disease

October 17, 2012
Ustekinumab, an antibody proven to treat the skin condition psoriasis, has now shown positive results in decreasing the debilitating effects of Crohn's Disease, according to researchers at the University of California San ...

Imaging technology might help doctors determine best treatment for Crohn's disease patients

October 14, 2011
It's difficult for doctors to tell whether a patient with Crohn's disease has intestinal fibrosis, which requires surgery, or inflammation, which can be treated with medicine. A new imaging method might make that task easier, ...

Specific bacterial species may initiate, maintain Crohn's

October 22, 2012
Patients newly diagnosed with pediatric Crohn's disease had significantly different levels of certain types of bacteria in their intestinal tracts than age-matched controls, according to a paper in the October Journal of ...

Recommended for you

Creation of synthetic horsepox virus could lead to more effective smallpox vaccine

January 19, 2018
UAlberta researchers created a new synthetic virus that could lead to the development of a more effective vaccine against smallpox. The discovery demonstrates how techniques based on the use of synthetic DNA can be used to ...

Study ends debate over role of steroids in treating septic shock

January 19, 2018
The results from the largest ever study of septic shock could improve treatment for critically ill patients and save health systems worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

New approach could help curtail hospitalizations due to influenza infection

January 18, 2018
More than 700,000 Americans were hospitalized due to illnesses associated with the seasonal flu during the 2014-15 flu season, according to federal estimates. A radical new approach to vaccine development at UCLA may help ...

Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies

January 18, 2018
Though the Zika virus is widely known for a recent outbreak that caused children to be born with microencephaly, or having a small head, and other malformations, scientists have struggled to explain how the virus affects ...

Certain flu virus mutations may compensate for fitness costs of other mutations

January 18, 2018
Seasonal flu viruses continually undergo mutations that help them evade the human immune system, but some of these mutations can reduce a virus's potency. According to new research published in PLOS Pathogens, certain mutations ...

Study reveals how MRSA infection compromises lymphatic function

January 17, 2018
Infections of the skin or other soft tissues with the hard-to-treat MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria appear to permanently compromise the lymphatic system, which is crucial to immune system function. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.