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Treatment of complex perianal fistulas with seton and infliximab in adolescents with Crohn's disease

  • Hukkinen, Maria
  • Pakarinen, Mikko P.
  • Piekkala, Maija
  • Koivusalo, Antti
  • Rintala, Risto
  • Kolho, Kaija-Leena1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 3, 4, 2, 3, 4
  • 1 Pediatric Liver and Gut Research Group
  • 2 Section of Pediatric Surgery
  • 3 Children's Hospital
  • 4 University of Helsinki
  • 5 Section of Pediatric Gastroenterology
Published Article
Journal of Crohn's and Colitis
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2014
Accepted Date
Jan 01, 2014
DOI: 10.1016/j.crohns.2014.01.001


Background and aimsTreatment of complex perianal fistulas associated with Crohn's disease is challenging. In adults, seton drainage combined with infliximab therapy has proven to be more effective than either one alone. Results following such treatment among pediatric patients have not been reported previously. The aim of this study was to describe outcomes after combined seton and infliximab treatment for complex perianal fistulas in adolescents with Crohn's disease. MethodsWe performed a retrospective medical record review of all consecutive Crohn's disease patients treated for perianal fistulas with seton drainage and infliximab between 2007 and 2013 (n=13). A follow-up interview was conducted at median of two years. ResultsMedian age at fistula diagnosis was 14years. Following seton placement in fistula tracks, infliximab induction was administered at weeks 0, 2, and 6 and maintenance therapy at 8-week intervals. Over 90% responded to seton drainage and infliximab induction. Final fistula response was obtained at median of 8weeks, being complete in 77% and partial in 15%. Setons were kept in place for median of 8months. Fistulas recurred in 23% over a year after the final response. At last follow-up, 85% still had a response and 70% were free from perianal symptoms. Most were still on anti-TNF-α therapy, but one third had switched to adalimumab. Patients' anorectal function was well preserved and overall satisfaction with the treatment was high. ConclusionsThe results suggest that combining seton drainage with infliximab therapy improves the perianal fistula response rates in pediatric patients.

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