P218 Assessment of the degree of intestinal destruction in Crohn's disease at the time of diagnosis

Hassine, A.(1);Akkari, I.(1);Mrabet, S.(1);Ben Jazia, E.(1);

(1)Hôpital universitaire Farhat Hached, service de gastro-entérologie, Sousse, Tunisia


Certainly the presence of advanced intestinal lesions in Crohn's disease (CD) is associated with a more frequent recourse to surgical resection. However, in general, the degree of intestinal destruction in patients with CD is not assessed at the time of diagnosis, and the natural history of CD may differ phenotypically from patient to patient. The aim of this study was to assess the degree of intestinal destruction in patients with CD at the time of diagnosis, using the Lemann Index (LI), and to identify the associated factors.


A retrospective study was conducted involving all patients with CD followed in our center over a period of 4 years (2016- 2020), and who were evaluated by endoscopy and MRI at baseline. The Lemann Index is a score that measures cumulative damage to digestive tissue from entero-MRI and endoscopy data. A LI score > 2.0 was set as a cutoff to define advanced bowel injury. Hypothesis tests were applied to identify associations.


112 patients with CD were included in this study, of which 53.6% were female. The mean age at diagnosis was 33.29 years [15-63]. Regarding the localization of CD, it was ileal, colonic, and ileocolonic in respectively 16.1%, 42.9% and 41%. The disease phenotype was inflammatory in 60.7%, stricturing in 21.42%, and penetrating in 17.85%. The initial flare was judged to be severe in 33.9%, moderate in 55.4% and mild in 10.7% of cases, with a mean CDAI of 305.21 [115-493]. 12 patients had already undergone bowel resection. As for the biological data, the mean value of C-Reactive Protein (CRP) at the time of diagnosis was 74.08 +/- 54.05 mg / l, and that of the sedimentation rate (ESR) was 62, 13 +/- 36.49 (the 1st hour). The mean LI was 3.14 (± 2.28) with 64 patients (57.1%) presenting an LI score indicating advanced bowel injury at diagnosis. In univariate analysis, the factors associated in a statistically significant way, with a more important Lemann Index were: the male sex (p = 0.037), the history of intestinal resection (p = 0.009), a severe initial flare (p = 0.049). Similarly, a strong correlation was observed with the initial CDAI score (p = 0.024, r = 0.05) and the initial value of ESR (p = 0.001, r = 0.01). In addition, the duration of symptoms, age at diagnosis, initial disease location and phenotype, presence or absence of anoperineal manifestations, and CRP value at diagnosis were not correlated to the degree of intestinal destruction according to the LI score, with respectively:  p = 0.43, p = 0.12, p = 0.19, p = 0.49, p = 0.34 and p = 0.063.


In our series, advanced intestinal lesions are present at the time of diagnosis in a significant proportion of patients. Thus, the use of the Lemann score from the diagnosis of Crohn's disease is necessary.