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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume 2016, Article ID 1651570, 7 pages
Review Article

Modern Treatments and Stem Cell Therapies for Perianal Crohn’s Fistulas

1St Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver BC, Canada
2University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC, Canada

Received 29 February 2016; Accepted 3 November 2016

Academic Editor: Přemysl Berčík

Copyright © 2016 Alghalya Khalid Sulaiman Al-Maawali et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Crohn’s disease (CD) is a complex disorder with important incidence in North America. Perianal fistulas occur in about 20% of patients with CD and are almost always classified as complex fistulas. Conventional treatment options have shown different success rates, yet there are data indicating that these approaches cannot achieve total cure and may not improve quality of life of these patients. Fibrin glue, fistula plug, topical tacrolimus, local injection of infliximab, and use of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are newly suggested therapies with variable success rates. Here, we aim to review these novel therapies for the treatment of complex fistulizing CD. Although initial results are promising, randomized studies are needed to prove efficacy of these approaches in curing fistulizing perianal CD.