The study was conducted by Dr. Ellen Scherl--Assistant Professor of Medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, and Director of the Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and at the Iris Cantor Women's Health Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell--and Dr. Brian Bosworth, Fellow in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in the Department of Medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell.
The physicians are encouraged by the unexpected results of rifaximin, which was FDA- approved last year for Traveler's diarrhea. But, they caution, these preliminary findings still require larger, controlled studies. They note that what makes rifaximin a potentially ideal antibiotic treatment for Crohn's Disease is that it remains primarily in the gut, has minimal side effects, and has a lower resistance than other antibiotics.
The researchers' analysis was performed on 8 patients. Both baseline and post-treatment disease activity were measured via the Harvey Bradshaw index, a simple clinical index of Crohn's Disease severity.
Patients varied in age from 17 to 83 and had an initial Harvey Bradshaw index ranging from 6 to 16 (mean 10.9). Following the treatment with rifaximin (400 mg twice daily), the Harvey Bradshaw index of these patients decreased significantly, range 1 to 7 (mean 3.8), with a mean decrease in value of 7.1. There was a significant improvement in the Harvey Bradshaw index, and the median time to response was 8.9 days.
The cause of Crohn's Disease is unknown; however, many scientists suspect that it