Diffusion-weighted Magnetic Resonance Enterography for Prediction of Response to Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors in Stricturing Crohn’s Disease


Shelly Soffer 1,4 Asaf Levartovsky 2,4 Noa Rozendorn 1,4 Gadeer Ali Taha 2,4 Bella Ungar 3,4 Tomer Greener 3,4 Shomron Ben-Horin 3,4 Rami Eliakim 3,4 Uri Kopylov 3,4 Eyal Klang 1,4 Marianne Michal Amitai 1,4
1Diagnostic imaging, Sheba Medical Center, Israel
2Internal Medicine E, Sheba Medical Center, Israel
3Gastroenterology, IBD service, Sheba Medical Center, Israel
4Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel

PURPOSE: Distinguishing between fibrotic and inflammatory strictures in Crohn’s disease (CD) is still challenging. The capacity of diffusion-weighted (DWI) magnetic resonance (MRE) to identify intestinal fibrosis was recently demonstrated; however the therapeutic implications of this association have never been evaluated. The aim of the current study was to identify imaging features, including DWI, which can predict response to anti-inflammatory treatment in patients with stricturing CD.

MATERIAL & METHODS: Consecutive CD patients with intestinal strictures that initiated treatment with anti-tumor necrosis alpha (anti-TNF) between June 2012 and April 2017 with MRE adjacent to treatment onset were retrospectively collected. The primary outcome was treatment failure, defined as drug discontinuation, CD-related surgery or endoscopic dilatation of the stricture. Clinical, demographic and imaging data were compared between patients who did and did not develop treatment failure within 12 months of anti-TNF treatment initiation.

RESULTS: A total of 21 patients were included in the study; 9/21 (42.8%) developed treatment failure. None of the clinical/demographic parameters was associated with the risk of treatment failure. Among imaging parameters, only ADC value (-3 mm2/s) was significantly associated with the risk of treatment failure (AUC=0.81, 66% vs 0%, p=0.015).

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that ADC value on DWI MRE may predict the risk of treatment failure in stricturing CD. If replicated in larger studies, these results may guide therapeutic decisions and suggest avoiding anti-TNF treatment.

Shelly Soffer
Shelly Soffer