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Multidisciplinary Inflammatory Bowel Disease Conference: The Impact of the Expert Pathologist on Patient Care

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2023 Sep 6:izad192. doi: 10.1093/ibd/izad192. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Multidisciplinary teams (MDT) aid the diagnosis and management of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and improve patient outcomes. The direct impact of a gastrointestinal expert pathologist on MDT care of IBD patients is unknown.

METHODS: A retrospective chart review was conducted evaluating all cases (N = 289) discussed at the IBD MDT conference at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital from June 1, 2013, through December 31, 2019. Cases were discussed between 1 and 6 times at the conference. Data collected included demographics, diagnosis before and after conference, reason for diagnostic change, endoscopy findings, medications, surgeries, and clinical follow-up.

RESULTS: Approximately 15% to 42% of patients had a change in diagnosis after the first 3 conferences. The majority of diagnostic changes after the first (84%), second (73%), and third (67%) conferences were due to expert pathologist interpretation. Indeterminate colitis was the most frequently changed diagnosis, and Crohn’s disease was the most common new diagnosis after conference. Among patients with a diagnostic change, 28.6% to 38.5% of patients had a change in their IBD medication regimen, and 7.7% to 10.9% had a surgical intervention after the first 2 conferences. Approximately 54.2% to 60% of patients reported clinical improvement or remission within 6 months of the first 3 conferences.

CONCLUSION: The majority of diagnostic changes made at the multidisciplinary IBD conference were due to histopathologic re-interpretation. A change in diagnosis at times led to significant modifications in medical or surgical management. An expert gastrointestinal pathologist is an essential MDT member for IBD management.

PMID:37672726 | DOI:10.1093/ibd/izad192

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