Most patients with Crohn's disease present with either terminal ileal or colonic disease, with 70% requiring surgery by 10 years after diagnosis. Recurrent stricturing at the anastomotic site is common, often symptomatic and can require re-operation with its inherent risks. Balloon dilation has been shown to provide good symptom relief from such strictures. However, repeat dilations may be required, and further surgical intervention to an anastomotic stricture is needed in up to 30% of cases. Injection of corticosteroids has been suggested as an adjunct to dilation in order to improve outcomes. This paper reviews the current literature on the use of intralesional steroid injections following endoscopic balloon dilation of anastomotic and de novo Crohn's strictures. There have been only two randomised placebo controlled trials and five small non-controlled or retrospective studies. Study numbers vary from 10 to 29 patients. The two randomised trials conflict in their conclusions and numbers are small in these studies. Currently therefore, no firm support can be given to the routine use of intralesional steroid injections.
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