Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 61, Issue 7, pp 2041–2050 | Cite as

Time to Relapse in Children with Crohn’s Disease Treated with Azathioprine and Nutritional Therapy or Corticosteroids

  • Ondrej Hradsky
  • Ivana Copova
  • Kristyna Zarubova
  • Jiri Nevoral
  • Jiri Bronsky
Original Article



The duration of remission has been shown to be longer in patients initially treated with exclusive enteral nutrition (EEN) compared to corticosteroids (CS). However, no published studies required concurrent immunomodulator [6-mercaptopurine or azathioprine (AZA)] use at the time of diagnosis.


The aims of this retrospective study were to compare the duration of remission between patients initially treated with AZA in combination with CS or EEN and identify predictors of early relapse in these patients.


Data from 65 newly diagnosed children with CD in clinical remission on either EEN or CS and commencing AZA at diagnosis were included. We compared duration of remission using physician global assessment and carried out Cox regression analysis to identify predictors of early relapse. Patients were followed up to the time of first relapse or for at least 12 months.


There were no differences in the duration of remission between patients initially treated with EEN or CS (p = 0.978). We identified younger age at diagnosis [hazard ratio (HR) 0.87, 95 CI 0.78–0.98, p = 0.016], lower height Z score at diagnosis (HR 0.61, 95 CI 0.44–0.85, p = 0.003), involvement of the upper gastrointestinal tract (HR 2.69, 95 CI 1.27–5.66, p = 0.009), and elevated platelet count at remission (HR 1.004, 95 CI 1.001–1.008, p = 0.021) as independent predictors of early relapse.


Neither induction regime demonstrated longer duration of remission of CD in patients treated with immunomodulators since the time of diagnosis.


Exclusive enteral nutrition Corticosteroids Crohn’s disease Follow-up Immunosuppressive therapy, azathioprine 



The project was supported by the Ministry of Health, Czech Republic, for conceptual development of research organizations 00064203 (University Hospital Motol, Prague, Czech Republic) and project GA UK No. 136215 by the Charles University in Prague.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital Motol and Second Faculty of MedicineCharles University in PraguePrague 5Czech Republic

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