Does adjuvant nutritional support diminish steroid dependency in Crohn disease?
Scand J Gastroenterol. 2001 Apr;36(4):383-8. PMID: 11336163
Dept. of Gastroenterology, Royal Hull Hospital NHS Trust, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND: Nutritional therapy plays an important role in the management of Crohn disease, particularly during the acute phase. Nutritional supplementation may also prevent relapses during the quiescent phase of Crohn disease, though this aspect has not been widely explored. METHODS: Thirty-three patients with Crohn disease in remission were studied. All had steroid-dependent disease. Patients were randomized to receive either elemental diet (n = 19, EO28 Extra) or polymeric diet (Forticips, n = 14). The supplement was given orally in addition to normal food in an amount to provide 35%-50% of pre-trial total calorie intake. Prednisolone was withdrawn gradually. Patients were followed up for 12 months. Failure was defined as increase in CDAI by 100 points from baseline to>200, inability to withdraw chronic steroid therapy completely, need for surgery or steroid therapy. RESULTS: The nutritional supplement was successful in 14 (43%) patients who remained in remission for 12 months with complete withdrawal of steroids. The response to elemental diet (42%) was similar to that of polymeric diet (43%). Nutrition supplement failed in 13 (39%). Six (18%) patients were intolerant to enteral feeding because of smell and taste problems. Per-protocol analysis of data indicated that the success rate of nutrition supplement in steroid-dependent patients was 52% (14 out of 27 patients). No disease or patient-related factors helped predict the response to nutrition supplement. CONCLUSION: Nutritional supplementation with either an elemental or polymeric diet may provide a safe and effective alternative to chronic steroid therapy in patients with steroid-dependent Crohn disease.