BACKGROUND & AIMS:
Few studies have compared endoscopic balloon dilation (EBD) with ileocolic resection (ICR) in the treatment of primary ileocolic strictures in patients with Crohn's disease (CD).
We performed a retrospective study to compare postprocedure morbidity and surgery-free survival among 258 patients with primary stricturing ileo(colic) CD (B2, L1, or L3) initially treated with primary EBD (n = 117) or ICR (n = 258) from 2000 through 2016. Patients with penetrating disease were excluded from the study. We performed multivariate analyses to evaluate factors associated with surgery-free survival.
Postprocedural complications occurred in 4.7% of patients treated with EBD and salvage surgery was required in 44.4% of patients. Factors associated with reduced surgery-free survival among patients who underwent EBD included increased stricture length (hazard ratio, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.3-3.3), ileocolonic vs ileal disease (hazard ratio, 10.9; 95% CI, 2.6-45.4), and decreased interval between EBD procedures (hazard ratio, 1.2; 95% CI, 1.1-1.4). There were no significant differences in sex, age, race, or CD duration between EBD and ICR groups. Patients treated with ICR were associated with more common postoperative adverse events (32.2%; P < .0001), but a reduced need for secondary surgery (21.7%; P < .0001) and significantly longer surgery-free survival (11.1 ± 0.6 vs 5.4 ± 0.6 y; P < .001).
In this retrospective study, we found that although EBD is initially successful with minimal adverse events, there is a high frequency of salvage surgery. Initial ICR is associated with a higher morbidity but a longer surgery-free interval. The risks and benefits should be balanced in selecting treatments for individual patients.