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Gastroenterology. 2006 May;130(6):1595-606.

The value of myenteric plexitis to predict early postoperative Crohn's disease recurrence.

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Department of Gastroenterology, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium.



Early ileocolonoscopy allows detection of recurrence after surgically induced remission of Crohn's disease (CD). Unequivocal histologic markers predicting recurrence have not been identified. We assessed the predictive value of neural lesions for early endoscopic CD recurrence and long-term reintervention risk.


Ileocolonic resection specimens from 59 patients with CD and 21 control patients were histologically scored for typical inflammatory bowel disease lesions, neural hypertrophy, and presence and severity of inflamed ganglia and nerve bundles. Endoscopic recurrence was determined at 3 months in all patients and at 1 year in 32 patients as part of 2 prospective clinical trials.


Myenteric plexitis of the proximal resection margin was present in 32 patients with CD (54%) in absence of surrounding inflammation. Patients with this feature had a higher endoscopic recurrence (Rutgeerts score >/=2) at 3 months (75% vs 41%; odds ratio, 4.36; 95% confidence interval, 1.44-13.23; P = .008) and at 1 year (93% vs 59%; odds ratio, 9.80; 95% confidence interval, 1.04-92.70; P = .041) and had a trend toward an earlier reintervention (mean, 7.00 vs 5.30 years; P = .174). The severity of myenteric plexitis in the proximal resection margin correlated with the severity of endoscopic recurrence at 3 months (r = 0.334, P = .010) and 1 year (r = 0.560, P = .001). Myenteric plexitis was the only consistent predictor of endoscopic recurrence.


The presence of myenteric plexitis in proximal margins of ileocolonic resection specimens is predictive of early endoscopic CD recurrence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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