EDITORIAL

Mucosal healing as a treatment for IBD?

Claudio Papi, Annalisa Aratari
Expert Review of Gastroenterology & Hepatology 2014, 8 (5): 457-9
24654957
In the last years mucosal healing has emerged as an important therapeutic goal for patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Growing evidence suggests that mucosal healing can improve patient outcomes and, potentially, can alter the natural course of the disease by inducing sustained clinical remission and reducing hospitalizations and surgery. However several questions remain to be answered. A validated definition of mucosal healing is still lacking and the effect size of different drugs is difficult to assess because of different definitions, different study design, and different timing of endoscopic evaluation. The evidence that mucosal healing has a high positive predictive value for long-term good clinical outcome is still limited and, therefore, mucosal healing remains a weak surrogate end point of disease course. Future studies are needed to develop a standardized definition of mucosal healing and to prospectively assess the impact of mucosal healing on long-term clinical outcomes.

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