The healing of the intestine is becoming an important objective in the management of inflammatory bowel diseases. It is associated with improved disease outcome. Therefore the assessment of this healing both in clinical studies and routine practice is a key issue. Endoscopy for the colon and terminal ileum and computerized tomography or magnetic resonance imaging for the small bowel are the most direct ways to evaluate intestinal healing. However, there are many unsolved questions about the definition and the precise assessment of intestinal healing using these endoscopic and imaging techniques. Furthermore, these are relatively invasive and expensive procedures that may be inadequate for regular patients' monitoring. Therefore, biomarkers such as C-reactive protein and fecal calprotectin have been proposed as surrogate markers for intestinal healing. Nevertheless, the sensitivity and specificity of these markers for the prediction of healing may be insufficient for routine practice. New stool, blood or intestinal biomarkers are currently studied and may improve our ability to monitor intestinal healing in the future.

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Keywords Endoscopy, Fecal markers, Genetic markers, Imaging techniques, Inflammatory bowel disease, Mucosal healing, Serologic markers, Transmural healing
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Journal Journal of Crohn's and Colitis
Daperno, M, Castiglione, F, de Ridder, L, Dotan, I, Färkkilä, M, Florholmen, J, … Louis, E. (2011). Results of the 2nd part Scientific Workshop of the ECCO (II): Measures and markers of prediction to achieve, detect, and monitor intestinal healing in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Journal of Crohn's and Colitis, 5(5), 484–498. doi:10.1016/j.crohns.2011.07.003