Gastric and duodenal Crohn's disease [CD]-associated strictures are rare. Evidence on endoscopic balloon dilation [EBD] of upper gastrointestinal [GI] CD strictures is limited, in particular in respect to serial dilations.
Prospective short- and long-term outcome data as well as complication rates on a cohort of upper GI CD-associated stricture dilations [stomach and duodenum] were collected from 1999 to 2015. Factors linked with clinical and technical success, long-term efficacy and complication rates were investigated.
A total of 35 CD patients with symptomatic CD-associated upper GI strictures [20% gastric, 67% duodenal, 11% both; mean age at diagnosis 25 years; mean CD duration to stricture 79.9 months; median post-dilation follow-up 22.1 months] underwent a total of 96 pneumatic dilations [33 gastric and 63 duodenal]. The median maximal dilation diameter was 15 mm. Technical success was achieved in 93% and clinical success in 87%, with a complication rate of 4% per procedure. The mean time to re-dilation was 2.2 months and mean time to stricture-related surgery after first dilation was 2.8 months. There was no difference in short-term efficacy, safety, or long-term outcome between the first and any later dilation procedure in the same patient.
Pneumatic dilation of upper GI CD-associated strictures has a high rate of short-term technical and clinical success, with moderate long-term efficacy and acceptable complication rates. Serial dilations do not change the efficacy and could be a feasible option to delay or prevent surgical intervention.