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Clinical Crossroads
Clinician's Corner
May 22, 2013

Management of Active Crohn Disease

Author Affiliations

Clinical Crossroads Section Editor: Edward H. Livingston, MD, Deputy Editor, JAMA.

Author Affiliations: Dr Cheifetz is Director, Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

JAMA. 2013;309(20):2150-2158. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.4466

Importance Treatment of Crohn disease is rapidly evolving, with the induction of novel biologic therapies and newer, often more intensive treatment approaches. Knowing how to treat individual patients in this quickly changing milieu can be a challenge.

Objective To review the diagnosis and management of moderate to severe Crohn disease, with a focus on newer treatments and goals of care.

Evidence Review MEDLINE was searched from 2000 to 2011. Additional citations were procured from references of select research and review articles. Evidence was graded using the American Heart Association level-of-evidence guidelines.

Results Although mesalamines are still often used to treat Crohn disease, the evidence for their efficacy is lacking. Corticosteroids can be effectively used to induce remission in moderate to severe Crohn disease, but they do not maintain remission. The mainstays of treatment are immunomodulators and biologics, particularly anti–tumor necrosis factor.

Conclusion and Relevance Immunomodulators and biologics are now the preferred treatment options for Crohn disease.

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