Dr Alain Schoepfer and colleagues evaluate the impact of diagnostic delay on the clinical course of Crohn's disease (CD) is unknown.
The research team examined whether length of diagnostic delay affects disease outcomes.
Data from the Swiss IBD cohort study were analyzed.
Patients were recruited from university centers, regional hospitals, and private practices.
The frequencies of occurrence of bowel stenoses, internal fistulas, perianal fistulas, and Crohn's disease-related surgery were analyzed.
|Diagnostic delay was positively correlated with the occurrence of bowel stenosis|
|American Journal of Gastroenterology|
A total of 905 Crohn's disease patients, with a median age at diagnosis of 26 years, were stratified into 4 groups according to the quartiles of diagnostic delay.
Median diagnostic delay was 9 months.
The researchers noted that the frequency of immunomodulator and/or antitumor necrosis factor drug use did not differ among the 4 groups.
The length of diagnostic delay was positively correlated with the occurrence of bowel stenosis, and intestinal surgery.
The team observed that disease duration was positively associated and non-ileal disease location was negatively associated with bowel stenosis, and intestinal surgery.
Dr Schoepfer's team concludes, "The length of diagnostic delay is correlated with an increased risk of bowel stenosis and Crohn's disease-related intestinal surgery."
"Efforts should be undertaken to shorten the diagnostic delay."