The past 18 months have seen many studies of the prevalence, pathogenesis, and treatment of the extraintestinal manifestations of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Inhibitors of tumor necrosis factor alpha have shown effectiveness in randomized trials for the treatment of spondyloarthropathies and ocular manifestations. Open-label studies suggest that these agents may be effective for pyoderma gangrenosum as well. The epidemiology of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), and its relationship to IBD, is becoming clearer. Colorectal neoplasia in PSC remains an important clinical problem. Osteoporosis occurs more commonly in IBD, but the relative importance of corticosteroid use versus underlying chronic bowel inflammation as risk factors remains controversial. Chromoendoscopy may be an important means to improve detection of colorectal neoplasia in IBD. Observational studies suggest that prolonged use of aminosalicylates is associated with decreased risk of neoplasia, but data are conflicting. A randomized trial of ursodeoxycholic acid in PSC showed decreased risk of colorectal neoplasia in patients receiving the drug relative to those on placebo.
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