Background The long-term significance of radiological transmural response (TR) as a treatment goal at the first follow-up scan in small bowel Crohn's disease (CD) has been previously shown. We examined the durability of a long-term strategy of treating to a target of radiological TR and the influence of baseline predictors on the maintenance of TR. Methods Small bowel CD patients between January 1, 2002, and December 31, 2014, were identified with serial computed tomography enterography (CTE)/magnetic resonance enterography (MRE) before and after initiation of therapy or on maintenance therapy. Overall TR (inflammatory lesions with/without strictures) w1as characterized by abdominal radiologists in up to 5 small bowel lesions per patient at each serial scan until last follow-up or small bowel resection, as response, partial response, or nonresponse. The rate of conversion between TR states and transition to surgery, including the effect of baseline patient/disease characteristics, was examined using a multistate model (mstate R-package). Results CD patients (n = 150, 705 CTE/MRE) with a median of 4 CTE/MRE during 4.6 years of follow-up, 49% with ileal-only distribution, had 260 examined bowel segments. Conversion from response to partial response/nonresponse was 37.4% per year of follow-up with no transitions seen directly from response to surgery. Current smoking status (hazard ratio [HR], 2.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-4.3) and internal penetrating disease at baseline scan (HR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.2-4.1) were associated with a 2-fold increased risk of transition from partial response/nonresponse to surgery. Conclusions Achievement and maintenance of radiological response is associated with avoidance of small bowel surgery. Continued follow-up with CTE/MRE is recommended to identify loss of response, especially in current smokers and patients with internal penetrating disease at baseline CTE/MRE.
- Crohn's disease
- magnetic resonance imaging
- medication therapy management
- small intestine/diagnostic imaging
- x-ray computed tomography