The emergence of biologic response modifiers and earlier use of immunomodulators for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients have improved outcomes. Durable remissions have been achieved in many IBD patients on these treatments, but the duration of treatment and identifying which patients may stop therapy is yet unresolved. Recently, the term very deep remission (defined as clinical remission [CDAI < 150] and endoscopic remission) has been applied to patients on immunomodulators/biologics who have no clinical symptoms or objective signs of inflammatory disease. Whether or not patients who achieve and maintain a very deep remission may successfully stop treatment is not known. This article will review the current data on stopping treatment in IBD and identify certain factors that are associated with a high relapse rate after discontinuing treatment. Where evidence-based data are lacking, the authors provide their opinion. (Inflamm Bowel Dis 2011;)
1 Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
* Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Co-Director, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center, Director, Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition Fellowship Training Program, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 200 Lothrop St., PUH-C Wing Mezzanine Level, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Received 29 April 2011; Accepted 11 May 2011
Published online 14 June 2011 in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com).