Patients with stricturing Crohn’s disease (CD) may experience episodes of intestinal sub-occlusions, which in many cases lead to surgery. The aim of this study was to examine whether adding a liquid diet to medical therapy could improve the management of patients with stricturing CD.
Medical records of CD outpatients with a small bowel stricture, either receiving (group 1) or not (group 2) a 24-h liquid diet every 10-14 days, were retrospectively analyzed. Number of sub-occlusive episodes, frequency, and timing of intestinal resections for strictures were analyzed.
During the 12-month follow-up, there was no significant difference in the occurrence of new sub-occlusive episodes between the 2 groups (10/37 patients (27%) in group 1 vs 9/45 patients (20%) in group 2). Similarly, the number of patients undergoing bowel resections for sub-occlusive episodes non-responsive to medical therapy did not statistically differ between the two groups (9 patients (24.3%) in group 1 vs 7 patients (15.5%) in group 2). In group 1, surgeries were equally distributed along the 12-months of follow-up, while 85.7% of patients in group 2 underwent intestinal resection within the first 3 months of follow-up.
Adding a liquid diet to medical therapy does not help management of patients with stricturing CD.