Burden and outcomes for complex perianal fistulas in Crohn's disease: Systematic review
World Journal of Gastroenterology
AIM To systematically review the literature on epidemiology, disease burden, and treatment outcomes for Crohn's disease (CD) patients with complex perianal fistulas. METHODS PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane were searched for relevant articles ( RESULTS Of 535 records reviewed, 62 relevant sources were identified (mostly small observational studies). The cumulative incidence of complex perianal fistulas in CD from two referral-centre studies was 12%-14% (follow-up time, 12 years in one study; not
... orted in the second study). Complex perianal fistulas result in greatly diminished quality of life; up to 59% of patients are at risk of faecal incontinence. Treatments include combinations of medical and surgical interventions and expanded allogeneic adipose-derived stem cells. High proportions of patients experience lack of or inadequate response to treatment (failure and relapse rates, respectively: medical, 12%-73% and 0%-41%; surgical: 0%-100% and 11%-20%; combined medical/surgical: 0%-80% and 0%-50%; stem cells: 29%-47% and not reported). Few studies (1 of infliximab; 3 of surgical interventions) have been conducted in treatment-refractory patients, a population with high unmet needs. Limited data exist on the clinical value of anti-tumour necrosis factor-α dose escalation in patients with complex perianal fistulas in CD. CONCLUSION Complex perianal fistulas in CD pose substantial clinical and humanistic burden. There is a need for effective treatments, especially for patients refractory to antitumour necrosis factor-α agents, as evidenced by high failure and relapse rates.