From the Journals

New study establishes IBD severity index



Experts have established a severity index for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according to results of an analysis published in the journal Gut (doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2016-312648).

The index, conceived by a panel of IBD specialists from the International Organization for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, is a step toward the standardization of disease severity definitions in ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Dr. Corey Siegel

Dr. Corey A. Siegel

The panel determined 16 severity attributes for Crohn’s disease and 13 for ulcerative colitis. The analysis found that, in Crohn’s disease, mucosal lesions, fistulas, and abscesses were the greatest contributors to disease severity at 15.8%, 10.9%, and 9.7%, respectively. In ulcerative colitis, 18.1% of disease severity was attributed to mucosal lesions, 14% to impact on daily activities, and 11.2% to C-reactive protein, wrote Corey A. Siegel, MD, MS, of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., and his coauthors.

Investigators used a PubMed literature search to identify three broad elements of disease severity: impact of disease symptoms on daily activities, inflammatory burden, and disease course.

A panel of 16 experts then conducted a series of votes to determine which attributes within each domain would be used to assess disease severity. Two sets of attributes were defined as disease markers in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

A type of conjoint analysis called adaptive choice-based conjoint was then performed to ascertain how different clinical factors influenced specialists’ decision making and impressions of disease severity.

A series of questions was asked, with each response determining subsequent questions, until “ample consistency” was found in their choices.

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