Background & Aims: Recently, treatment goals in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in clinical trials have shifted from mainly symptom-based to more mucosa-driven. Real world data on treatment priorities are lacking. We aimed to investigate the current practice and most commonly used definitions of IBD treatment targets among Dutch gastroenterologists.

Methods: Dutch gastroenterologists were asked to participate in a computer-based nation-wide survey. We asked questions on demographics, opinion and current practice regarding IBD treatment targets.

Results: Twenty-four percent (134/556) of the respondents completed the survey. For both Crohn’s disease (CD) (47.3%, 61/129) and ulcerative colitis (UC)(45%, 58/129) the main treatment goal was to achieve and maintain deep remission, defined as clinical, biochemical and endoscopic remission. Seventy-six percent of the participants use mucosal healing (MH) as a potential treatment target for IBD, whereas 22.6% use histological remission. There is no single definition for MH in IBD. The majority use Mayo score ≤ 1 in UC (52%) and ‘macroscopic normal mucosa’ in CD (66%).

Conclusion: More stringent and mucosa-driven treatment targets as ‘deep remission’ and ‘mucosal healing’ have found traction in clinical practice. The most commonly used definition for MH in routine practice is endoscopic MAYO score ≤ 1 in UC and ‘macroscopic normal mucosa’ in CD.

Abbreviations: CD: Crohn’s disease; CDEIS: Crohn‘s Disease Endoscopic Index of Severity; IBD: Inflammatory Bowel Disease; IBDU: IBD unclassified; IOIBD: International Organization for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases; MH: Mucosal healing; MMH: Microscopic mucosal healing; PROMS: Patient reported outcome measures; SES-CD: Simple endoscopic score for Crohn’s disease; UC: ulcerative colitis; UCEIS: Ulcerative Colitis Endoscopic Index of Severity.


Inflammatory bowel disease, mucosal healing, treatment goals, deep remission, ulcerative colitis, Crohn‘s disease