Aim: Granuloma is considered the hallmark of microscopic diagnosis in Crohn's disease (CD), but granulomas can be detected in only 21-60% of CD patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency of granulomas by multiple endoscopic biopsies in patients with CD and to examine whether group of patients with or without granuloma exhibit a different clinical course. Methods: Fifty-six patients with newly diagnosed CD were included in the study. Jejunoscopy, enteroclysis and ileo-colonoscopy were performed in all patients. At least two biopsy specimens from each examined gastrointestinal segment were examined microscopically searching granuloma. The clinical course was followed in all patients, and extraintestinal manifestations as well as details of any immunosuppressive therapy and surgical intervention were noted. Results: Granuloma was found in 44.6% of the cases (25 patients). Patients with granuloma had higher activity parameters at the time of the biopsies. Extraintestinal manifestations were observed and surgical interventions were performed more often in the granuloma group. The need of immunosuppressive therapy was significantly more frequent in the patients with granuloma. Granuloma formation is more often seen in younger patients, and mainly in the severe, active penetrating disease. Conclusion: The significantly higher frequency of surgical interventions and immunosuppressive therapy suggests that granuloma formation is associated with a more severe disease course during the first years of CD.
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