P191 Non-specific terminal ileitis: prevalence, clinical course and association with later diagnosis of Crohn’s disease

Koureta, E.(1);Tampaki, M.(1);Voulgaris, T.(1);Laoudi, E.(1);Karatzas, P.(1);Papatheodoridis, G.(1);

(1)Laiko General Hospital- Medical School of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Department of Gastroenterology-, Athens, Greece


The existing literature does not provide adequate guidance on the diagnosis and management of patients with non-specific terminal ileitis, while the data regarding the percentage of patients that finally develop Crohn’s disease are scarce.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and natural course of non-specific terminal ileitis in patients who underwent colonoscopy in our department during the last decade. All patients with endoscopic findings of terminal ileitis and non-specific histological findings between 2008 and 2018 were included in the study. Patient characteristics, initial symptoms, biopsy findings, and the patients’ clinical and endoscopic course were recorded. Patients with a history of Crohn’s disease or histological findings related to specific diseases were excluded.


Out of 5.353 colonoscopies in total, 92 patients (mean age: 50 years, men: 56.5%, asymptomatic: 72.5%) with non-specific terminal ileitis were identified (prevalence: 1.7%). Among 92 patients, 56 (61%) had available follow-up information for at least 6 months after initial endoscopy. In these patients, the reasons for performing endoscopy were chronic diarrhea (21/56, 37.5%), screening (16/56, 28.6%), abdominal pain (12/56, 21.4%), iron deficiency (5/56, 9%) and visible blood in stool (2/56, 3.5%). Endoscopic findings included erosions/ulcerations (62.5%), mucosal edema (23.2%), mucosal erythema (10.7%) and ileal valve stenosis (3.6%). Among 56 patients, 16 (28.6%) received medical treatment that included aminosalicylates (25%), budesonide (62.5%) and antibiotics (12.5%). Recession of symptoms was recorded in 20 out of 40 symptomatic patients (50%). Interestingly, symptomatic relief was more frequent in patients who did not receive any treatment (75%) comparing to those who received medications (26.3%), (p=0.02). In total, 23/56 (41%) patients underwent 2nd endoscopy with persisting endoscopic findings in 15/23 (65.2%). Eleven out of 56 (19.6%) patients were eventually diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. The probability of Crohn’s disease diagnosis was significantly higher in symptomatic patients (27.5%) comparing to asymptomatic (0%) (p=0.019). The majority of patients with Crohn’s disease (9/11, 81.8%) remained symptomatic after initial endoscopy (p= 0.002), while 90% of them had persisting endoscopic findings in follow-up endoscopy (p=0.019).


Non-specific terminal ileitis has a generally benign clinical course regardless of the administered treatment. However, patients with persisting symptoms and endoscopic findings should be followed closely to monitor later development of Crohn’s disease.