Objective Crohn’s disease (CD) pathogenesis associated with dysbiosis and presence of pathobionts in the lumen, intracellular compartments and epithelial biofilms. Azithromycin is active in all three compartments. Our goal was to evaluate if azithromycin-based therapy can improve response and induce remission compared with metronidazole alone in paediatric CD. Design This blinded randomised controlled trial allocated children 5–18 years with 10<Pediatric Crohn’s Disease Activity Index (PCDAI)≤40 to azithromycin 7.5 mg/kg, 5 days/week for 4 weeks and 3 days/week for another 4 weeks with metronidazole 20 mg/kg/day (group 1) or metronidazole alone (group 2), daily for 8 weeks. Failures from group 2 were offered azithromycin as open label. The primary end point was response defined by a decrease in PCDAI>12.5 or remission using intention to treat analysis. Results 73 patients (mean age 13.8±3.1 years) were enrolled, 35 to group 1 and 38 to group 2. Response and remission rates at week 8 were identical 23/35 (66%) in group 1 and 17/38 (45%) and 15/38 (39%) in group 2 (P=0.07 and P=0.025, respectively). The needed to treat for remission was 3.7. Faecal calprotectin declined significantly in group 1 (P=0.003) but not in group 2 (p=0.33), and was lower at week 8 (P=0.052). Additional therapy was required in 6/35(17%) from group 1 versus 16/38(42%) in group 2 (P=0.027) by week 8. Among 12 failures in group 2, open-label azithromycin led to remission in 10/12 (83%). Conclusions The combination of azithromycin and metronidazole failed to improve response but was superior for induction of remission and reduction in calprotectin

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2017-315199, hdl.handle.net/1765/115358
Journal Gut (English Edition): an international journal of gastroenterology & hepatology
Levine, A, Kori, M., Kierkus, J, Boneh, R.S., Sładek, M, Escher, J.C, … Turner, D. (2019). Azithromycin and metronidazole versus metronidazole-based therapy for the induction of remission in mild to moderate paediatric Crohn's disease : a randomised controlled trial. Gut (English Edition): an international journal of gastroenterology & hepatology, 68(2), 239–247. doi:10.1136/gutjnl-2017-315199