The American Gastroenterological Association has released new guidelines recommending the use of blood and stool-based biomarkers to manage Crohn's disease.
Inflammatory bowel disease impacts an estimated 2.74 million patients in the U.S. The use of blood and stool tests to monitor inflammation can reduce how often patients need invasive endoscopy procedures, according to the new guidance, published Nov. 17 and emailed to Becker's in a news release.
Biomarkers in blood and fecal matter can measure levels of inflammation, helping physicians assess whether Crohn's is active or in remission.
The AGA is recommending that physicians use these markers in addition to colonoscopy and imaging studies.
The AGA recommends checking biomarkers every six to 12 months for patients in remission and every two to four months in patients with active symptoms. They also can be used to monitor patients at low risk for disease recurrence following surgery.