Management of perianal Crohn’s disease
- Cite this article as:
- Person, B. & Wexner, S.D. Curr Treat Options Gastro (2005) 8: 197. doi:10.1007/s11938-005-0012-1
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Perianal manifestations of Crohn’s disease usually coexist with active inflammation of other primary sites of the disease. Although treatment of active proximal disease may sometimes alleviate perianal symptoms, it is reasonable to separately treat symptomatic perianal disease. The diversity of perianal manifestations in Crohn’s disease mandates a tailored, individualized approach in every case. Medical therapy is the best treatment option for hemorrhoids and anal fissures. The medical management of patients with perianal Crohn’s disease includes the use of systemic antibiotics, immunosuppressive agents, and infliximab. Infliximab is now recognized as a very efficacious agent for treating fistulizing Crohn’s disease, including perianal fistulae. It may also reduce the need for surgical intervention in specific cases. Abscesses and fistulae are treated by control of sepsis, resolution of inflammation and optimal preservation of continence, and quality of life. Abscesses require surgical drainage that may need to be prolonged to achieve complete healing. Fistulae may be treated medically, especially in cases of concurrent proctitis. Refractory fistulae may require surgical treatment including an occasional need for fecal diversion or proctectomy. The role of new treatment options such as natalizumab and CDP571 is evolving and requires further investigation.