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Gastroenterology. 2005 Apr;128(4):856-61.

Ornidazole for prophylaxis of postoperative Crohn's disease recurrence: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.



Crohn's disease almost inevitably recurs after ileocolonic resection, and effective prophylactic therapy has not been identified. We investigated the efficacy and safety of ornidazole, a nitroimidazole antibiotic, for the prevention of clinical recurrence of Crohn's disease after curative ileocolonic resection in a placebo-controlled double-blind clinical trial.


Eighty patients were randomized to ornidazole 1 g/day or placebo started within 1 week of resection and continued for 1 year. The primary end point was the proportion of patients with clinical recurrence at 1 year. Secondary end points were endoscopic recurrence at 3 months and 12 months after resection.


Two patients in the ornidazole group withdrew consent and were not dosed. Ornidazole significantly reduced the clinical recurrence rate at 1 year from 15 of 40 (37.5%) patients in the placebo group to 3 of 38 (7.9%) patients in the ornidazole group (Fisher exact test, 8.03; P = .0046; odds ratio, 0.14; 95% confidence interval, 0.037-0.546). Ornidazole reduced endoscopic recurrence at 12 months from 26 of 33 (79%) in the placebo group to 15 of 28 (53.6%) in the ornidazole group (chi2 , 4.37; P = .037; odds ratio, 0.31; 95% confidence interval, 0.10-0.94). Endoscopic recurrence at 3 and 12 months predicted clinical recurrence. Significantly more patients in the ornidazole group dropped out from the study because of side effects (P = .041).


Ornidazole 1 g/day is effective for the prevention of recurrence of Crohn's disease after ileocolonic resection.

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