Fibrotic Strictures in Crohn's Disease: Mechanisms and Predictive Factors

Riccardo Mager, Giulia Roda, Mohammad Khaled Shalaby, Stefania Vetrano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fibrotic strictures are one of the most severe complications of Crohn's Disease (CD). They occur in about 50% of patients at five years and in 70% at ten years of the diagnosis. The only treatment available for symptomatic fibrotic strictures is surgical resection and endoscopic dilation. Both strategies are associated with a high rate of recurrences, and with multiple surgical resections, which pose the threat of surgical morbidity and short bowel syndrome. Therefore, it is crucial to identify early the patients more prone to develop intestinal fibrosis to intensify follow-ups, switch to more aggres-sive treatments, and suggest lifestyle modifications. Scarce data are available concerning biomarkers and genetic determi-nants to predict which patient will develop intestinal fibrosis. Biologic or clinical markers would be useful to determine this subgroup of CD patients and to predict the onset of intestinal fibrosis and, ideally, its severity. Furthermore, the identifica-tion of environmental risk factors may suggest lifestyle changes aimed at modifying the natural course, thus decreasing the risk of complicated CD. In this review, we will critically revise clinical, environmental, genetic, and serologic factors that have been associated with a complicated CD course with a particular focus on the fibrostenosing phenotype and their pos-sible implications as predictive factors of intestinal fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Drug Targets
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Oct 20 2020


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