Management of patients with complex perianal fistulas in Crohn's disease: Optimal patient flow in the Italian clinical reality

Antonino Spinelli, Alessandro Armuzzi, Rachele Ciccocioppo, Silvio Danese, Paolo Gionchetti, Gaetano Luglio, Ambrogio Orlando, Antonio Rispo, Fernando Rizzello, Luigi Sofo, Gaspare Solina, Gilberto Poggioli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Perianal fistulizing Crohn's disease (PFCD) is a common, disabling and aggressive phenotype that negatively impacts on the quality of life of affected patients. Its successful treatment is still a struggle for both physicians and patients. Significant advances in the management of this condition have occurred in the last two decades holding promise for a better future. This culminated into the concept of a collaborative multidisciplinary approach using the latest medical therapies combined with modern surgical and endoscopic techniques. Despite this, PFCD management and treatment have not been standardized yet. Thus the gastroenterologist and surgeon have to be familiar with several approaches and/or techniques. The positioning of each therapeutic option will certainly evolve with new data, but for the time being it should be driven by patient's characteristics, physician's preference and/or experience, costs and availability in local practice. Additionally, patient's perception of benefits and risks of treatment may differ from those of physicians and recognition of this difference is a starting point for difficult clinical decision-making. In this paper, a multidisciplinary group of Italian IBD experts explore and discuss current medical and surgical therapeutic options, highlighting areas of unmet needs in PFCD, with particular focus on the optimal patient flow within the Italian clinical reality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-515
Number of pages10
JournalDig. Liver Dis.
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

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