Inflammatory Bowel Disease: An Overview of Immune Mechanisms and Biological Treatments

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are characterized by chronic inflammation of the intestinal tract associated with an imbalance of the intestinal microbiota.

Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are the most widely known types of IBD and have been the focus of attention due to their increasing incidence.

Recent studies have pointed out genes associated with IBD susceptibility that, together with environment factors, may contribute to the outcome of the disease. In ulcerative colitis, there are several therapies available, depending on the stage of the disease.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for chronic antibiotic-refractory ischemic pouchitis.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been shown to be efficacious in treating various conditions, including perianal Crohn’s disease. Here we present a case of a 59-year-old male with a history of ulcerative colitis, who underwent a total proctocolectomy and two-stage J-pouch construction. He later developed chronic antibiotic-refractory pouchitis with endoscopic features of ischemia. At the completion of HOBT-a total of 20 sessions of 100% oxygen at 2.5-3.0 atmospheres absolute for 60-90 minutes per session-a repeat pouchoscopy showed marked improvement of endoscopic mucosal inflammation. HBOT is known to increase tissue oxygenation, reduce tissue hypoxia, alter inflammatory pathways and promote tissue healing.

Role of immunosuppressives in special situations: perianal disease and postoperative period.

Complex perianal disease is associated with poor outcome and requires early effective therapy. Corticosteroids are not effective in perianal fistulising Crohn’s disease, and antibiotics, immunosuppressants and anti-TNF therapy are required. It is important to consider combined medical surgical therapy after accurate imaging using an MRI scan of the pelvis. Drainage of any abscess at examination under anaesthesia and seton insertion are important before introduction of immunosuppressants and anti-TNF therapy. Long-term follow up of patients in a single centre reported responders to azathioprine having a reduced risk of perianal surgery (OR = 0.36; 95% CI: 0.27-0.46), but complex perianal fistulising Crohn’s disease generally requires combination therapy with anti-TNF and azathioprine.

Efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen in patients with Crohn’s disease: two case reports.

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract, usually involving the ileum, that can lead to debilitating symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhea and malabsorption during acute exacerbations. Because there is no known cause of the illness, treatment is based upon symptomatology and may ultimately require bowel resection if response to medical therapy is inadequate. Treatment with hyperbaric oxygen has shown promise in the reduction of inflammation associated with acute exacerbations of Crohn’s disease, with alleviation of symptoms and an improvement in quality of life. We present two cases of pediatric patients with exacerbations of Crohn’s disease who underwent cycles of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

[Hyperbaric oxygen in the treatment of perineal Crohn’s disease era of infliximab: a renewal interest?].

Despite the growing number of therapeutic methods and the recent introduction of new drugs more active in the therapeutic arsenal, lesions of the ano-perineal Crohn’s disease remains difficult to support. Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) was made before the era of infliximab, an interesting therapeutic approach in which the current position remains unclear. To assess HBO efficacy in the treatment of anal fistulas refractory Crohn’s disease. Literature review. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy was used in the 90’s when the biotherapy was not part of the armamentarium for Crohn’s disease. Research conducted has identified only nine publications evaluating the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the treatment of anal fistulas refractory Crohn’s disease.

HBOT for inflammatory bowel disease

Traditionally, hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) has been used to treat a limited repertoire of disease, including decompression sickness and healing of problem wounds. However, some investigators have used HBOT to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Comprehensive searches were conducted in 8 scientific databases through 2011 to identify publications using HBOT in IBD. Human studies and animal models were collated separately.