Little is known about the role of follow-up endoscopy in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The present study aimed to evaluate whether repeated endoscopies would be beneficial in improving outcomes of patients with IBD. Patients who had been initially confirmed to have IBD at two tertiary hospitals in Korea were regularly followed and included in this study. The clinical impact as assessed by the presence or absence of a change in management after endoscopy and cumulative hospitalization rate was compared between two groups classified according to the presence or absence of indications. A total of 188 patients with IBD were enrolled [69 patients with Crohn's disease (CD) and 119 with ulcerative colitis (UC)]. Of these patients, 130 underwent follow-up endoscopy (48 with CD and 82 with UC). The rate of management change was significantly higher in the group with indications for follow-up endoscopy (p = 0.001 in CD and <0.001 in UC). The presence of any indications for follow-up endoscopy was found to be a significant predictor of hospitalization risk in patients with UC (p = 0.015), but not in those with CD. However, there was no significant difference in cumulative hospitalization hazard with respect to treatment change in patients without any endoscopic indications (p = 0.561 in CD and 0.423 in UC). Follow-up endoscopy might not have a significant impact on the overall clinical course and outcomes in patients with IBD. However, the presence of endoscopic indications predicts a poor clinical outcome in UC.
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Acknowledgments This study was supported by a Grant (2013-E63004-00) from the Research of Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a Grant of the Korean Health Technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (Grant Number A120176).
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