CARD15 mutations and perianal fistulating Crohn's disease: correlation and predictive value of antibiotic response

Paulo Freire, Francisco Portela, Maria M Donato, Manuela Ferreira, Paulo Andrade, Carlos Sofia
Digestive Diseases and Sciences 2011, 56 (3): 853-9

BACKGROUND: CARD15 mutations alter bowel immunity and increase susceptibility to Crohn's disease (CD). However, the relation between these mutations and Crohn's perianal fistulas has not been fully clarified.

AIMS: To assess whether CARD15 mutations are associated with risk of developing Crohn's perianal fistulas and whether these mutations are predictors of the response of perianal fistulas to antibiotics.

METHODS: CARD15 mutations were investigated in 203 consecutive CD patients. Presence/absence of history of perianal fistula was recorded. Patients with history of perianal fistula were divided into two groups (with/without CARD15 mutations), and response to antibiotics was evaluated in both groups.

RESULTS: Of the 203 patients, 60 (29.6%) showed at least one CARD15 mutation and 55 (27.1%) had history of perianal fistula. History of perianal fistula was identified in 13 (21.7%) patients with mutations and in 42 (29.4%) patients without mutations (P = 0.260). Mean age at diagnosis of first perianal fistula was similar in patients with/without CARD15 mutations (28.7 ± 9.8 versus 29.7 ± 10.1 years, P = 0.758). Average time between disease onset and diagnosis of first perianal fistula was also similar in the two groups (4.6 ± 5.1 versus 5.0 ± 5.9 years, P = 0.816). Response of perianal fistulas to antibiotics (metronidazole alone or combined with ciprofloxacin) was significantly higher in patients without CARD15 mutations (7.7% versus 40.5%, P = 0.041).

CONCLUSIONS: In CD, CARD15 mutations are not associated with risk of developing perianal fistulas or with time of their outbreak. Nevertheless, patients with perianal fistulas and CARD15 mutations showed worse response to antibiotics.

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