Prevalence and prognostic value of hepatic histological alterations in patients with Crohn's disease

2015 Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology 50;12 (1463-1468)

Variable degrees of liver histological changes in patients with Crohn's disease (CD) have been reported. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the liver histological alterations and their prognostic significance in patients affected by CD without abnormalities of liver biochemical parameters and ultrasound features. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A prospective, single-blind study, including 35 consecutive patients with CD that underwent bowel resection with a contemporary performance of liver biopsy from 1992 to 2003. EXCLUSION CRITERIA: the presence of standard causes of liver disease, such as alcohol consumption exceeding 20 g/day, primary sclerosing cholangitis, viral infections, celiac disease, metabolic syndrome and alterations of the metabolism. Patients were followed up with regular evaluation of hepatic cytolysis, cholestasis, synthesis and ultrasound performance. After a mean interval of 14 years (from May to December 2013), liver fibrosis was assessed by Fibroscan(R). RESULTS: Histological alterations were shown in 60% of patients, without serious liver injuries (no case of inflammation or significant fibrosis). Fibroscan(R) was performed in 33 subjects and no significant changes were observed (mean value of liver stiffness: 5.2 +/- 1.2 kPa). The minimal microscopic damage did not evolve either in patients with a normal histology or in those with an altered histology at baseline (p = 0.9). Only patients who took azathioprine had a statistically significant increase of liver stiffness values (5.7 +/- 1.5 kPa vs 4.7 +/- 1.3 kPa, p = 0.017). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with CD do not need additional examinations compared to the general population, unless clinical or biochemical abnormalities are found.

Pubmed : 26133749