What is Fistulising Crohn’s disease?

Fistulae develop in approximately one third of patients with Crohn’s disease hence the name Fistulising Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease may be complicated by the formation of fistulae (abnormal tunnels between the bowel and other structures), which may develop between two segments of bowel (enteroenteric), between the bowel and the vagina (rectovaginal), between the bowel and the bladder (enterovesicular) or between the bowel and the skin (enterocutaneous). Perianal fistulae (affecting the areas around the anus) are the most common type.

People with Fistulising Crohn’s disease typically experience periods of disease activity (flares) and periods of inactivity (remission) and cycle through these two states. People may go into remission following treatment but a relapse of symptoms is common. Symptoms during a flare can include diarrhoea, abdominal pain or discomfort, fever, nausea, vomiting, tiredness and weight loss. The fistula may also drain pus or a foul-­smelling discharge.


If you have any further questions about your treatment options please contact your doctor.