The terminal ileum poses a predilection for Crohn’s disease (CD) but is less susceptible to undergo healing to treatment with biologics and small molecules. This study aimed to evaluate histologic features associated with endoscopic remission (ER).
This is a post hoc analysis of patients with moderately to severely active CD, defined as Crohn’s disease activity index 220 to 450, and terminal ileal ulceration treated with antitumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α inhibitor adalimumab from the EXTEND trial. We studied whether baseline total Global Histologic Disease Activity Scores (GHAS), any individual histologic element, and specific immunohistochemical (IHC) markers of chronic inflammation from biopsy specimens were associated with postinduction (week 12) and maintenance (week 52) ER, defined as Simple Endoscopic Score for Crohn’s Disease of 0. Multivariable logistic regression models adjusted for confounders were used to assess the relationship between histologic markers and 1-year outcomes.
Seventy-one adult patients with CD affecting the ileum were included in this analysis. Both baseline ileal GHAS scores and individual histologic components were not found to be associated with ER at weeks 12 or 52. Increased expression of interleukin-13 receptor (IL-13R) on IHC stains was associated with reduced likelihood of achieving 1-year ER (adjusted odds ratio, 0.06; 95% CI, 0.01-0.92; P = .044). No other biomarker assessed was associated with 1-year ER.
Ileal histologic disease activity and IHC activation markers of chronic mucosal inflammation were not associated with 1-year ER. However, strong staining for IL-13 receptor in the ileum was associated with reduced odds of 1-year ER using adalimumab. Mucosal cellular disease profiles might pose an opportunity to guide treatment of CD.