Clinical and Radiologic Characteristics of Intra-Abdominal Fistulizing Crohn's Disease

Ariel A. Benson*, Eyal Aviran, Shaul Yaari, Naama Lev-Cohain, Jacob Sosna, Ran Oren, Eran Israeli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Few studies describe the radiological and laboratory characteristics of patients with Crohn's disease (CD) with intra-abdominal fistulae. Objectives: We aimed to describe a cohort of CD patients with intra-abdominal fistulae and determine characteristics associated with complex fistulae. Methods: Data were gathered from medical records and imaging studies of patients. Evaluation included type of fistula, number of fistulae, and radiological characteristics. Results: A total of 205 fistulae in 132 patients were identified with an average patient age of 31 (±12) years. The average time from CD diagnosis to fistula development was 7 years. The most common type of fistula was entero-enteric (53%). Patients with an extra-intestinal fistula presented with an average of 1.96 fistulae, compared with an average of 1.28 fistulae for those with a fistula limited to the bowel (p =0.01). Except for the number of fistula no other significant differences were observed in radiological characteristics of patients who were diagnosed with a fistula at time of CD diagnosis compared to those diagnosed with a fistula later. Conclusions: The most common CD-associated intra-abdominal fistulae are entero-enteric and entero-colonic fistulae. An extra-intestinal fistula and diagnosis of a fistula subsequent to diagnosis of CD were associated with an increased number of fistulae per patient.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)667-673
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019


  • Crohn’s disease
  • Fistula
  • Inflammatory bowel disease


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