Comparative efficacy of pharmacologic interventions in preventing relapse of Crohn's disease after surgery: A systematic review and network meta-analysis

Siddharth Singh, Sushil Kumar Garg, Darrell S. Pardi, Zhen Wang, Mohammad Hassan Murad, Edward V. Loftus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND & AIMS: There are several drugs that might decrease the risk of relapse of Crohn's disease (CD) after surgery, but it is unclear whether one is superior to others. We estimated the comparative efficacy of different pharmacologic interventions for postoperative prophylaxis of CD, through a network meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. METHODS: We conducted a systematic search of the literature through March 2014. We identified randomized controlled trials that compared the abilities of mesalamine, antibiotics, budesonide, immunomodulators, anti-tumor necrosis factor α (anti-TNF) (started within 3 months of surgery), and/or placebo or no intervention to prevent clinical and/or endoscopic relapse of CD in adults after surgical resection. We used Bayesian network meta-analysis to combine direct and indirect evidence and estimate the relative effects of treatment. RESULTS: We identified 21 trials comprising 2006 participants comparing 7 treatment strategies. In a network meta-analysis, compared with placebo, mesalamine (relative risk [RR], 0.60; 95% credible interval [CrI], 0.37-0.88), antibiotics (RR, 0.26; 95% CrI, 0.08-0.61), immunomodulator monotherapy (RR, 0.36; 95% CrI, 0.17-0.63), immunomodulator with antibiotics (RR, 0.11; 95% CrI, 0.02-0.51), and anti-TNF monotherapy (RR, 0.04; 95% CrI, 0.00-0.14), but not budesonide (RR, 0.93; 95% CrI, 0.40-1.84), reduced the risk of clinical relapse. Likewise, compared with placebo, antibiotics (RR, 0.41; 95% CrI, 0.15-0.92), immunomodulator monotherapy (RR, 0.33; 95% CrI, 0.13-0.68), immunomodulator with antibiotics (RR, 0.16; 95% CrI, 0.04-0.48), and anti-TNF monotherapy (RR, 0.01; 95% CrI, 0.00-0.05), but neither mesalamine (RR, 0.67; 95% CrI, 0.39-1.08) nor budesonide (RR, 0.86; 95% CrI, 0.61-1.22), reduced the risk of endoscopic relapse. Anti-TNF monotherapy was the most effective pharmacologic intervention for postoperative prophylaxis, with large effect sizes relative to all other strategies (clinical relapse: RR, 0.02-0.20; endoscopic relapse: RR, 0.005-0.04). CONCLUSIONS: Based on Bayesian network meta-analysis combining direct and indirect treatment comparisons, anti-TNF monotherapy appears to be the most effective strategy for postoperative prophylaxis for CD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-76.e2
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Comparative Effectiveness
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Network Meta-Analysis
  • Postoperative Prophylaxis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparative efficacy of pharmacologic interventions in preventing relapse of Crohn's disease after surgery: A systematic review and network meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this