Conservative therapy for Crohn’s disease (CD)-related acute bowel obstruction is essential to avoid emergent surgery. The present study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of using a long intestinal decompression tube (LT) in treatment of CD with acute intestinal obstruction.


This is a prospective observational study. Comparative analysis was performed in CD patients treated with LT (the LT group) and nasogastric tube (the GT group). The primary outcome was the avoidance of emergent surgery. Additionally, predictive factors for failure of decompression and subsequent surgery were investigated.


There were 27 and 42 CD patients treated with LT and GT, respectively, in emergent situations. Twelve (44.4%) patients using LT were managed conservatively without laparotomy, while only nine (21.4%) patients in the GT group were spared from emergent surgery (P < 0.05). Both in surgery-free and in surgery patients, the time to alleviation of symptoms was significantly shorter in the LT groups than in the GT groups (both P < 0.01). C-reactive protein decrease after intubation and 48-hour drainage volume >500 mL were predictors of unavoidable surgery (both P < 0.05). The rate of temporary stoma and incidence of incision infection in the LT surgery group were significantly lower than those in the GT group (both P < 0.05). No significant differences were observed in the frequency of medical and surgical recurrences between the LT and GT groups (all P > 0.05).


Endoscopic placement of LT could improve the emergent status in CD patients with acute bowel obstruction. The drainage output and changes in C-reactive protein after intubation could serve as practical predictive indices for subsequent surgery. Compared to traditional GT decompression, LT decompression was associated with fewer short-term complications and did not appear to affect long-term recurrence.

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