Expert opinions on the current therapeutic management of inflammatory bowel disease during the covid-19 pandemic: Japan ibd covid-19 taskforce, intractable diseases, the health and labor sciences research

Hiroshi Nakase, Takayuki Matsumoto, Minoru Matsuura, Hideki Iijima, Katsuyoshi Matsuoka, Naoki Ohmiya, Shunji Ishihara, Fumihito Hirai, Kouhei Wagatsuma, Yoshihiro Yokoyama, Tadakazu Hisamatsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has emerged as a dramatic challenge for all healthcare systems worldwide. This outbreak immediately affected gastroenterologists as well as global physicians worldwide because COVID-19 can be associated with not only triggering respiratory inflammation but also gastrointestinal (GI) inflammation based on the mechanism by which SARS-CoV-2 enters cells via its receptor the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, which is expressed on GI cells. However, the comorbidity spectrum of digestive system in patients with COVID-19 remains unknown. Because the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) management involves treating uncontrolled inflammation with immune-based therapies, physicians, and patients have great concern about whether IBD patients are more susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and have worsened disease courses. Summary: It is necessary to precisely ascertain the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and the COVID-19 severity in IBD patients and to acknowledge the IBD management during the COVID-19 pandemic with clinically reliable information from COVID-19 cohorts and IBD experts' opinions. In this review, we highlight clinical questions regarding IBD management during the COVID-19 pandemic and make comments corresponding to each question based on recent publications. Key Messages: We propose that there is (1) no evidence that IBD itself increases the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, (2) to basically prioritize the control of disease activity of IBD, (3) no need for physicians to suddenly discontinue immunomodulatory or biologic therapy in patients with quiescent IBD, and (4) a need for careful observation of elderly (>60 years old) and IBD patients receiving corticosteroid treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDigestion
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gastroenterology

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