Journal of medical case reports 2016 9 2310(1) 264
Esophageal Crohn’s disease is reported as a rare manifestation, although its prevalence may be underestimated because upper endoscopies are not routinely performed in asymptomatic adults. Tofacitinib, an oral janus kinase inhibitor, is a new biologic that has shown promise in the treatment of ulcerative colitis and may be effective in the treatment of Crohn’s disease according to phase 2 trials. We report the first case of esophageal Crohn’s disease successfully treated with tofacitinib in a patient with worsening symptoms despite maintenance therapy with a tumor necrosis factor-α inhibitor.
A 67-year-old Caucasian woman presented with new dysphagia and had findings of esophageal Crohn’s disease on endoscopy. The dosage of her current biologic therapy-adalimumab-was increased in frequency, without improvement. Our patient was started on tofacitinib and demonstrated an improvement in symptoms, with a repeat endoscopy showing resolution of the previous lesions.
Esophageal Crohn’s disease is likely underdiagnosed but is an important consideration in a patient with new symptoms of dysphagia and known Crohn’s disease. Tofacitinib, while a novel agent, could have a role in the treatment of esophageal Crohn’s disease that does not improve with intensification of the current biologic therapy. It provides a different mechanism in patients who become refractory to maintenance therapy.