Background: No studies have heretofore specifically focused on the efficacy of postoperative thiopurine therapy in intestinal Behçet’s disease (BD). We conducted this study to assess the clinical effects of postoperative thiopurines in patients with intestinal BD. Methods: We reviewed the medical records of all patients with intestinal BD who had undergone bowel resection surgery in a single tertiary academic medical center between 1991 and 2013. The cumulative probabilities of clinical recurrence were calculated using the Kaplan–Meier method, and predictive factors for recurrence were assessed by multivariate analysis. Results: A total of 77 patients with intestinal BD received 5-ASA (n = 50, 64.9 %) or thiopurine (n = 27, 35.1 %) therapy after surgery at our center. The postoperative recurrence rate was lower in patients who received postoperative thiopurines (P = 0.050). The hazard ratio for recurrence was 0.636 (95 % confidence interval 0.130–1.016, P = 0.053) for postoperative thiopurine use compared with postoperative 5-ASA. However, the rates of re-operation, re-admission, and death were not significantly different between the 5-ASA and thiopurine groups. Conclusions: Thiopurine therapy after surgery exhibited a modest effect in preventing recurrence in intestinal BD patients. More patients, long-term follow-up, and a randomized controlled design are necessary to validate the effectiveness of postoperative thiopurines in patients with this disease.
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