Genetic Signatures Can Help Predict Likelihood of Complications in Young Crohn’s Patients

Genetic Signatures Can Help Predict Likelihood of Complications in Young Crohn’s Patients
Specific biological markers in pediatric patients newly diagnosed with Crohn's disease can help to predict those who will go on to develop disease-related complications, and those will best respond to treatment. The study, “Prediction of complicated disease course for children newly diagnosed with Crohn's disease: a multicentre inception cohort study,” was published in The Lancet journal. While most children with Crohn's disease present uncomplicated disease characteristics (phenotype), a “subgroup rapidly progress[es] to complicated disease behaviors, with stricturing and possible bowel obstruction or internal penetrating fistulas, or both, often resulting in intra-abdominal sepsis,” researchers wrote. This means that a fraction of pediatric Crohn's disease patients is more likely to develop the most severe and common complications, called stricturing and penetrating disease. These complications significantly contribute to morbidity in both pediatric and adult Crohn's patients. Stricturing (also known as fibrostenosis) is the narrowing of the intestine, resulting in difficult passage and caused by buildup of scar tissue within the intestine. Prolonged and sustained inflammation leads to a state of penetrating disease, where inflammation spreads beyond the intestinal wall into the surrounding tissue, often around the anus and rectum. These abnormal connections are called fistulas. "Twenty five percent of patients with Crohn's disease account for 80 percent of complications, hospitalizations, surgery and health care costs. The aim of RISK is to preemptively identify those 25 percent of patients at dia
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