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Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2004 Dec;27(10):563-7.

[Azathioprine and mesalazine in the prevention of postsurgical recurrence of Crohn's disease: a retrospective study].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Servicio de Aparato Digestivo, Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Barcelona, Spain.



Surgical resection is still a mainstay of the treatment of Crohn's disease (CD). However, recurrence is the rule. The aim of the present study was to evaluate CD recurrence in a series of patients who underwent surgical resection with subsequent treatment with azathioprine (AZA) or mesalazine (5-ASA) and to identify the factors associated with recurrence.


The medical records of patients with CD who underwent bowel resection during a 4-year period were reviewed. Only patients who received AZA or 5-ASA as prophylaxis for recurrence were included.


Thirty-three patients treated with AZA and 16 treated with 5-ASA were included. Endoscopic recurrence was found in 8.6% of the AZA group and in 87.5% of the 5-ASA group (p <0.001). Clinical recurrence occurred in 31.2% of patients in the 5-ASA group and in none in the AZA group (p=0.004). The accumulated probability of both clinical and endoscopic recurrence was significantly lower in the AZA group (p=0.0025 and p=0.005, respectively). Factors associated with a greater risk of endoscopic recurrence were termino-terminal anastomosis and 5-ASA treatment. The only factor associated with clinical recurrence was 5-ASA treatment.


AZA seems to be more effective than 5-ASA in the prevention of postsurgical endoscopic recurrence of CD. Prospective studies with long-term follow-up are required to establish the true utility of AZA in the prophylaxis of CD recurrence.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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