Clinical Features

Data in the literature on clinical features of IC are scarce. The ratio of male to female patients is usually close to 1 while in UC there is a prevalence of males [18]. Geboes [3] reports a more severe clinical course in patients with IC, with pronounced need for immunosuppressives and higher risk of colectomy and colon cancer compared with definite UC. Different data are reported by Meucci et al. [6], who examined symptoms of 50 patients with IC at disease onset and found no specific feature. Specifically, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and hematochesia were similar to other IBDs while incidence of weight loss and fever resulted more frequently in IC than UC. Gender, age, smoking and extraintestinal manifestations were similar and not significantly different between patients with UC and CD. However, multivariate analysis showed how some features, specifically fever, segmental colitis, presence of extraintestinal disease, rectal sparing and smoking habitus was significantly predictive for final diagnosis of CD. Finally, the occurrence of pouch-anal fistulae, which represents the most important issue, will be discussed below, describing how this scenario can determine failure or success of surgical treatment.

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