Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Digestive Disorders


Effectiveness of Azathioprine in Maintaining Remission in Crohn's Disease: A Systematic Review

Marcella Correa da Silva Coelho, Ana Carolina Paiva Botelho, Patrícia Britte Bruno, Monique Fernandino Dias, Luiz Carlos Bertges, Erika Ruback Bertges, Ana Paula Ferreira

Objective: To use a systematized review to determine the effectiveness of azathioprine in maintaining remission in Crohn's disease.

Method: This study is a systematic review of the literature based on a bibliographic survey having the US National Library of Medicine (PubMed) data collection as the investigative source. The survey was delimited between January 2018 and May 2018 with the following descriptive terms: "Azathioprine" AND "Crohn's disease". The inclusion criteria were as follows: original articles, experimental models in humans, published either in English or Portuguese. All studies that did not meet the inclusion criteria and those that did not address the scope of this research were excluded. The information was selected according to its relevance and separated into themes that would allow a more didactic interpretation of the results.

Results: A total of forty studies were evaluated, of which 28 were excluded and 12 were made part of this review. Azathioprine has been effective in the sustained remission of the disease in most cases, especially in moderate to severe patients. A total of 378 patients were assessed.

Conclusion: Azathioprine has shown to be an effective therapy, indicated for the maintenance of remission in refractory (corticosteroid-dependent) and recurrent cases of moderate to severe patients. The patient and the disease should be stratified and treated individually. Treatment of Crohn's disease is complex, and in many cases patients cannot return to their normal daily activities. 

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