Multidisciplinary management of perianal Crohn's disease

Suha Abushamma, David H. Ballard, Radhika Smith, Parakkal Deepak

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose of reviewMultiple new medications with novel mechanisms of action are now available to treat Crohn's disease (CD). However, they have varying effectiveness in the management of perianal CD. Identifying the most appropriate therapy and optimizing it is essential to maximize effectiveness of therapy. Additionally, the management of perianal CD requires imaging of the perianal area to identify the fistula anatomy and local complications such as abscesses that require surgical drainage. Initial surgical assessment is key to drain abscesses and allow fistula healing with medical therapy.Recent findingsAlthough anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNFs) remain the most effective medications to treat perianal CD, real-world data suggests that ustekinumab may be a 2nd-line option in patients nonresponsive to an anti-TNF or having contraindications. Mesenchymal stem cells are an emerging therapeutic approach that is currently in Phase 3 trials in the United States and poised to play a major role in the treatment algorithm.SummaryThe management of perianal CD requires a multidisciplinary approach with a combination of initial imaging and surgical assessment to adequately control local sepsis, optimization of biological therapy with adjunct antibiotics or immunomodulators, and close clinical follow-up with imaging to evaluate response to therapy and guide further surgical management options.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-305
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent opinion in gastroenterology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021


  • Crohn's disease
  • antibodies
  • colorectal surgery
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • mesenchymal stem cells
  • monoclonal


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