It is unusual for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to present with almost specific or pathognomonic clinical symptoms and signs. This implies that diagnosing Crohn’s disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis (UC) is substantially dependent on the combination of a wide range of clinical, radiological, endoscopic, and histological findings that should be correctly interpreted by physicians in the appropriate setting. One additional important point is linked to recent advances in the field that have led to the widespread use of biological therapies in the management of patients with IBD, either CD or UC. This suggests that we urgently need reliable tools to stratify patients with different disease subtypes in terms of the risk of complications and a poor outcome as well as the probability to clinically respond to one treatment strategy, including biological therapies, rather than to others. Reliable tools are also required to appropriately follow-up patients during the course of their disease, especially methods that allow inflammatory activity and treatment effects to be monitored.
KeywordsInflammatory Bowel Disease Ulcerative Colitis Irritable Bowel Syndrome Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patient Ulcerative Colitis Patient
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