Thiopurines have a proven role in maintenance therapy for Crohn's disease.
However, an alternative therapy is needed for patients intolerant or resistant to thiopurines.
Dr Takagi and colleagues from Japan evaluated the effectiveness of home enteral nutrition as a maintenance therapy regimen.
In this regimen, half of the daily calorie requirement is provided by an elemental diet and the remaining half by a free diet.
The investigative team referred to this home enteral nutrition therapy as 'half elemental diet'.
|The relapse rate in the half elemental diet group was 35%|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
The investigators evaluated 51 patients in remission from 2 hospitals between 2002 and 2005.
The team randomly assigned 26 patients to a half elemental diet group or 25 to a free diet group.
The primary outcome measure of this study was the occurrence of relapse over the 2-year period.
The relapse rate in the half elemental diet group was 35% vs 64% in the free diet group after a mean follow-up of 12 months.
The investigative team noted that compliance was similar in the 2 groups.
No adverse event occurred in any of the patients throughout the study.
Dr Takagi's team commented, “This randomized-controlled trial shows the effectiveness of an half elemental diet, which is a promising maintenance therapy for Crohn's disease patients.”