Insights into treatment of complex Crohn's perianal fistulas

Gregor Norčič, Nataša Smrekar, Srđan Marković, Goran Barišić, Gediminas Kiudelis, Henrikas Paužas, Tamás Molnár, Attila Szijarto, Zuzana Šerclová, Tina Roblek, Viktor Uršič, Ian White*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Complex perianal fistula is a common complication of Crohn’s disease (CD) which leads to negative impact on patient’s quality of life. Successful management of the disease requires a multidisciplinary approach, including a gastroenterologist and a colorectal surgeon, applying combined surgical and medical therapy. One of frequently practiced surgical procedures is seton placement in the fistula tract, which is used to control perianal sepsis and drain the fistula, while preventing recurrent abscess formation. Darvadstrocel, a suspension of expanded, allogeneic, adipose-derived, mesenchymal stem cells, is safe and effective for treatment-refractory complex perianal fistulas in patients with Crohn’s disease. Following approval of darvadstrocel, the INSPIRE registry is being conducted in order to evaluate long-term safety and effectiveness of the drug on a large, heterogenous population. An online expert meeting was held from March 20 to March 30, 2023, which provided relevant insights into the decision-making process regarding seton use and obtained feedback on the first experiences with darvadstrocel. The aim of this article is to present the perspectives from gastroenterologists and colorectal surgeons practicing in Czechia, Hungary, Israel, Lithuania, Serbia, and Slovenia in topics such as diagnosis and treatment options for patients with complex Crohn's perianal fistulas (CPF), specifically focusing on the use of setons and darvadstrocel. During this virtual session, unavailability of comprehensive data on safety and efficacy of available treatment procedures was emphasized as an important obstacle towards development of standardized recommendations and improvement of outcomes in treatment of (CPF). Furthermore, achieving consensus in seton use, duration of its placement, and frequency of change is recognized as one of CPF treatments major challenges. Despite these issues, it is important to promote better understanding and treatment of complex perianal fistulas in order to improve the quality of life of those affected by this condition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7
JournalBMC Proceedings
Issue numberSuppl 7
StatePublished - Apr 2024


  • Crohn's Disease
  • Darvadstrocel Therapy
  • Long-term Safety Evaluation
  • Multidisciplinary Management
  • Perianal Fistulas
  • Surgical Procedures
  • Treatment Challenges


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