Year 2019 / Volume 111 / Number 8
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Year 2019 / Volume 111 / Number 8


Treat to target in inflammatory bowel disease: a survey of treatment strategies amongst Portuguese doctors


Sónia Bernardo, Samuel R. Fernandes, Luís Araújo-Correia,

Background: treatment goals in inflammatory bowel disease have changed over the last few years and have shifted from a mainly symptom-based management to objective endpoints, such as mucosal healing and deep remission. A treat-to-target strategy to achieve these goals has been proposed by several experts, although the real-life clinical data is still lacking. This study aimed to investigate the current practices among Portuguese gastroenterologists who treat inflammatory bowel disease patients. Methods: Portuguese gastroenterologists were asked to participate in an anonymous online survey. The questions focused on opinions and current practice with regard to treatment targets in inflammatory bowel disease. Results: sixty-two physicians agreed to participate in the survey, 40 were gastroenterology specialists and 22 (35.5%) were fellows. Deep remission was considered as the main treatment goal for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis by 82% and 83.9% of the participants, respectively. Mucosal healing as a treatment target was used by 95% and 80% of participants in ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, respectively; 71% intensified the treatment to achieve mucosal healing after clinical remission. The most common definition of mucosal healing in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis was the absence of mucosal ulceration (32.3%) and a Mayo endoscopic sub-score of 0 (41.9%). Only 3.2% escalated treatment with the aim to achieve histologic remission in ulcerative colitis. Conclusion: a treat-to-target strategy to achieve mucosal healing and deep remission is currently accepted by a substantial number of Portuguese gastroenterologists.

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The Spanish Journal of Gastroenterology is the official organ of the Sociedad Española de Patología Digestiva, the Sociedad Española de Endoscopia Digestiva and the Asociación Española de Ecografía Digestiva
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