The effect of prednisolone (20-30 mg daily for six to nine weeks) was studied in eight patients with Crohn's disease and recurrent, preanastomotic ileal inflammation, in respect of symptoms, endoscopic findings and phospholipase A2 activity in the ileal mucosa. The Harvey-Bradshaw Crohn's disease activity index improved significantly, mainly because of reduced frequency of loose stools and diminution of abdominal pain. Endoscopy revealed no corresponding decrease in ileal inflammation, which in all cases persisted after treatment. The phospholipase A2 activity in the ileal mucosa was not altered by prednisolone. In two of three patients with concomitant colitis colonic inflammation improved. The study confirmed earlier reports of good symptomatic relief from glucocorticoid treatment in Crohn's disease of the small bowel, but endoscopy suggests that this improvement was not the result of resolution of small intestinal mucosal inflammation.
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