Endoscopy Given IBD Patients Within 6 Months of Starting Biologic May Limit Complications, Study Says

Endoscopy Given IBD Patients Within 6 Months of Starting Biologic May Limit Complications, Study Says
An GI tract examination by endoscopy given within six months of starting treatment with a biologic may lessen the risk of complications in people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a study found. The study, "US Practice Patterns and Impact of Monitoring for Mucosal Inflammation After Biologic Initiation in Inflammatory Bowel Disease," was published in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. Intestinal inflammation in Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) that's not properly controlled can lead to complications, and a need for corticosteroid therapy, hospitalization or surgery. This risk may be reduced by combining biologic therapies that help to keep GI inflammation under control with tools that allow physicians to monitor disease activity, including an endoscopy. Although IBD patients are rarely given an endoscopy to monitor GI inflammation shortly after starting a biological therapy, data from the study led by Berkeley Limketkai, MD, PhD, the director of clinical research at the UCLA Center for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, highlighted the importance of performing this procedure early on. "Early endoscopic evaluation after the initiation of biologic therapy reduces the risk of disease-related complications and is consistent with the treat-to-target approach to IBD control," Limketkai said in a news story written by Ted Bosworth. "For every 1% increase in early proactive monitoring, there was a 0.6% reduction in the rate of disease-related complications at the end of two years," he said. In the study, Limketkai and colleagues analyzed health claims data from 19,899 patients with Crohn's and 7,247 with ulcerative colitis who had started treatment with a biologic agent. Patients were divided into two groups, depending on whether they had an
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