[Does conservative therapy of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases still play a role?]

F Seibold
Swiss Surgery, Schweizer Chirurgie, Chirurgie Suisse, Chirurgia Svizzera 2003, 9 (3): 127-30
The first-line therapy for inflammatory bowel disease flares is typically medical in nature. Glucocorticoids are a mainstay for the treatment of severe inflammatory bowel disease. Aminosalicylates are efficacious in the treatment of active mild- to- moderate disease. Infliximab, a chimeric monoclonal anti-TNF alpha antibody can be used in refractory Crohn's disease. The recurrence rate after surgery or medical therapy is high. Therefore the introduction of a maintenance therapy is important in patients with repetitive flares. In patients with ulcerative colitis aminosalicylates are useful as maintenance therapy. In severe ulcerative colitis or in Crohn's disease immune suppressive strategies such as a therapy with azathioprine, 6-mercaptopurine or methotrexate should be considered. In Crohn's patients with fistula surgical treatment or a therapy with antibiotics, immunosuppressants or infliximab is recommended.

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