Dr. Stidham's research focuses of improving the ways that we monitor Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Knowledge of disease activity can help determine if current medicines are sufficient, if a change in therapy is needed, or if we can reduce therapy. Knowing disease activity may also be able to predict a flare of disease prior to developing symptoms. Finally, we seek developing new markers of disease activity that are minimally invasive, low cost, and can be performed in a doctor's office.
A major problem in Crohn's disease is that recurrent inflammation over long periods of time can cause significant scarring of the intestine, which we call fibrostenotic, or structuring disease. Scarred intestine is not believed to respond to available medications and surgery is required for treatment. However, fibrostenotic disease appears nearly identical to inflamed intestine. Even with colonoscopy, CT scans, and MRIs it is not possible distinguish inflamed from scarred fibrostenotic bowel. Why do we care? Because knowing how much scar is present may have enormous implications for predicting if a patient will respond to medical therapy.
Using modified ultrasound technology, we may be able to determine the stiffness of intestine and potentially determine if an individuals Crohn's disease will respond to medical therapy. This diagnostic tool requires no IV or medications, no bowel prep, no fasting, and is performed in the office. Our collaborative ultrasound group we will be enrolling Crohn's disease patients both admitted to the hospital for and those seen in our outpatient clinics.
This study will open in the fall of 2012.
Go to the Clinical Trials tab for more information.
We are searching for proteins in the blood that reflect intestinal fibrosis or scarring. With goals similar to those in our ultrasound studies, we are interested developing minimally invasive ways to predict fibrosis and subsequently predict the likelihood of medication response early in the disease.
We are enrolling Crohn's disease patients who will be undergoing surgery to resect bowel that has not responded to medical therapy. We will collect blood before and then a few weeks after your surgery and analyze the samples for which proteins change after surgery.
This study is OPEN and ENROLLING.Go to the Clinical Trials tab for more information.