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A Journal on Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Dietetics

Indexed/Abstracted in: CAB, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index

Frequency: Quarterly

ISSN 1121-421X

Online ISSN 1827-1642


Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2012 June;58(2):137-50


Is pediatric IBD treatment different than in adults?

Lev-Tzion R. 1, Turner D. 2, 3

1 Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Washington University, St. Louis, MS, USA;
2 The Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Unit, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel;
3 The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

The incidence of pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) continues to rise in most countries. Approximately 20-25% of IBD patients present before the age of 20, and their management is associated with many unique challenges. These challenges stem both from the inherent differences between children and adults, and from the differences in the nature and course of the disease. Children with IBD are more likely than adults to present with extensive disease ‑ both in Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). Diagnosis requires a high index of suspicion, as children may present with less typical signs such as poor growth and delayed puberty. In the very young patients with inflammatory bowel disease, the pediatric clinician must consider a broader range of immunological and allergic disorders. Optimal management requires recognition of pediatric patterns of presentation, efficacy and adverse-effect profiles, and understanding monitoring aspects unique to pediatrics. These aspects include pediatric disease-related psychological issues, adherence to therapy and transition to adult care. Inadequate attention to growth, puberty or bone health in childhood can result in long-term consequences, such as impaired adult height and increased risk of fractures. Management of pediatric IBD and prevention of adverse long-term consequences relies on a variety of therapies well-known to the adult practitioner, along with therapies that are not widespread in adults, most notably exclusive enteral nutrition (EEN). The latter is as effective as corticosteroids in achieving clinical remission in children, while achieving better results than corticosteroids with regard to mucosal healing and growth. This review discusses the broad variety of issues that form the basis for management of pediatric IBD.

language: English


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