Vogel JD, et al. Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Anorectal Abscess, Fistula-in-Ano, and Rectovaginal Fistula. Dis Colon Rectum. 2016 Dec;59(12):1117-1133. Full-text for Emory users.
Recommendations: Treatment of Rectovaginal Fistulas (p. 1123-1125)
Bouguen G, et al.; GETAID. Efficacy and Safety of Tumor Necrosis Factor Antagonists in Treatment of Internal Fistulizing Crohn’s Disease. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2020 Mar; 18(3):628-636.
Results: After a median follow-up period of 3.5 years, 68 patients (43.6%) underwent a major abdominal surgery. The cumulative probabilities for being surgery-free were 83%, 64%, and 51% at 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively. A concentration of C-reactive protein >18 mg/L, an albumin concentration <36 g/L, the presence of an abscess at the fistula diagnosis, and the presence of a stricture were associated independently with the need for surgery. The cumulative probabilities of fistula healing, based on imaging analyses, were 15.4%, 32.3%, and 43.9% at 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively. Thirty-two patients (20.5%) developed an intestinal abscess and 4 patients died from malignancies (3 intestinal adenocarcinomas). One patient died from septic shock 3 months after initiation of anti-TNF therapy.
Conclusions: In a retrospective analysis of data from a large clinical trial, we found that anti-TNF therapy delays or prevents surgery for almost half of patients with CD and luminal fistulas. However, anti-TNF therapy might increase the risk for sepsis-related death or gastrointestinal malignancies.