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Cochrane/IBD review roundup: Limited evidence keeps verdicts at bay



– Cochrane Library reviews of studies into inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) from 2018 revealed limited evidence – so far – to support enteral nutrition therapy (EN) and cannabis in Crohn’s disease (CD) and fecal transplantation in IBD.

cannabis_oil Anatoliy Sizov/Getty Images

But Morris Gordon, MBChB, MMed, PhD, a Cochrane Library researcher who provided a roundup for colleagues, said there’s tremendous opportunity to build upon existing research in these areas.

Dr. Gordon, a pediatrician with a special gastric interest at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, England, spoke at the Crohn’s & Colitis Congress - a partnership of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and the American Gastroenterological Association.

In his presentation, Dr. Gordon discussed several Cochrane Library reviews published in 2018 in these topic areas:

Enteral therapy

EN was a hot topic at the Crohn’s & Colitics Congress, which devoted a large panel discussion to the benefits of its use in inducing remission in CD, especially in children.

Dr. Morris Gordon, University of Central Lancashire Randy Dotinga/MDedge News

Dr. Morris Gordon

However, an updated 2018 Cochrane Library systematic review found that “very low quality evidence suggests that corticosteroid therapy may be more effective than EN for induction of clinical remission in adults with active CD. Very low quality evidence also suggests that EN may be more effective than steroids for induction of remission in children with active CD” (Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Apr 1. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD000542.pub3).

The review recommended that “EN should be considered in pediatric CD patients or in adult patients who can comply with nasogastric tube feeding or perceive the formulations to be palatable, or when steroid side effects are not tolerated or better avoided.”

Another 2018 Cochrane Library Review concluded that “no firm conclusions regarding the efficacy and safety of enteral nutrition in quiescent CD can be drawn” (Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Aug 11. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD005984.pub3).

Dr. Gordon noted that IBD guidelines support EN to induce CD remission in children, and he called for “high quality research” to provide more evidence to support this recommendation.


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