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Prevalence of Upper Gastrointestinal Lesions at Primary Diagnosis in Adults with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Horjus Talabur Horje, Carmen S. MD*; Meijer, Jos PhD; Rovers, Lian PhD; van Lochem, Ellen G. PhD*; Groenen, Marcel J. M. MD, PhD*; Wahab, Peter J. MD, PhD*

doi: 10.1097/MIB.0000000000000786
Original Clinical Articles

Background: The prevalence of upper gastrointestinal (GI) involvement in adult inflammatory bowel disease has mostly been studied in patients with long-standing disease. The aim of this study was to prospectively evaluate the prevalence of upper GI involvement in a consecutive series of newly diagnosed, treatment-naive adult patients with inflammatory bowel disease, irrespective of upper GI tract symptoms.

Methods: Consecutive patients with suspected inflammatory bowel disease underwent combined ileocolonoscopy and upper endoscopy with biopsies. Patients diagnosed with either Crohn's disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis (UC), denying use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, were included in the study. Helicobacter pylori infection was diagnosed histologically and positive patients were excluded from the analysis. Endoscopic and histologic lesions in the stomach and duodenum were recorded. Upper GI location (+L4) was defined as a combination of endoscopic and histological lesions.

Results: A total of 152 patients (108 CD and 44 UC) were analyzed. Endoscopic lesions were only seen in patients with CD (60 of 108, 55%). Histological lesions were present in both patients with CD and patients with UC: focally enhanced gastritis in 58 CD (54%) and 10 UC (23%), granulomas in 30 CD (28%). Upper GI disease location was diagnosed in 44 patients with CD (41%) and no patients with UC. Upper GI tract symptoms were reported in 14 of 44 patients (32%) with upper GI location.

Conclusions: A high prevalence of upper GI involvement was observed in newly diagnosed patients with CD, with a majority of the patients being asymptomatic. Focally enhanced gastritis was common in both patients with CD and patients with UC, whereas granulomatous inflammation was restricted to patients with CD.

Departments of *Gastroenterology and Hepatology,

Pathology, and

Epidemiology and Statistics, Rijnstate Hospital, Arnhem, the Netherlands.

Reprints: Carmen S. Horjus Talabur Horje, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Rijnstate Hospital, Postbus 9555, 6800 TA Arnhem, the Netherlands (e-mail:

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Received February 5, 2016

Accepted February 11, 2016

© Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
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