Relevance of monitoring transmural disease activity in patients with Crohn's disease: current status and future perspectives

Rune Wilkens, Kerri L Novak, Christian Maaser, Remo Panaccione, Torsten Kucharzik

37 Citationer (Scopus)


Treatment targets of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD) have evolved over the last decade. Goals of therapy consisting of symptom control and steroid sparing have shifted to control of disease activity with endoscopic remission being an important endpoint. Unfortunately, this requires ileocolonoscopy, an invasive procedure. Biomarkers [C-reactive protein (CRP) and fecal calprotectin (FCP)] have emerged as surrogates for endoscopic remission and disease activity, but also have limitations. Despite this evolution, we must not lose sight that CD involves transmural inflammation, not fully appreciated with ileocolonoscopy. Therefore, transmural assessment of disease activity by cross-sectional imaging, in particular with magnetic resonance enterography (MRE) and intestinal ultrasonography (IUS), is vital to fully understand disease control. Bowel-wall thickness (BWT) is the cornerstone in assessment of transmural inflammation and BWT normalization, with or without bloodflow normalization, the key element demonstrating resolution of transmural inflammation, namely transmural healing (TH) or transmural remission (TR). In small studies, achievement of TR has been associated with improved long-term clinical outcomes, including reduced hospitalization, surgery, escalation of treatment, and a decrease in clinical relapse over endoscopic remission alone. This review will focus on the existing literature investigating the concept of TR or residual transmural disease and its relation to other existing treatment targets. Current data suggest that TR may be the next logical step in the evolution of treatment targets.

TidsskriftTherapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology
Sider (fra-til)1-18
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - 16 apr. 2021


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