Extraintestinal manifestations of inflammatory bowel disease

Dig Liver Dis. 2008 Jul;40 Suppl 2:S253-9. doi: 10.1016/S1590-8658(08)60534-4.


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is associated with a variety of extraintestinal manifestations (EIMs) that may produce greater morbidity than the underlying intestinal disease and may even be the initial presenting symptoms of the IBD. As many as 36% of patients with IBD have at least one EIM. Some are more common related to active colitis (joint, skin, ocular, and oral manifestations). Others are especially seen with small bowel dysfunction (cholelithiasis, nephrolithiasis, and obstructive uropathy), and some are nonspecific disorders (osteoporosis, hepatobiliary disease, and amyloidosis). Patients with perianal Crohn's disease are at higher risk for developing EIMs than other IBD patients. Also the presence of one EIM appears to confer a higher likelihood of developing other manifestations than would be expected by chance alone. The identified pathogenetic autoimmune mechanisms include genetic susceptibility antigenic display of autoantigen, aberrant self-recognition, and immunopathogenetic autoantibodies against organ-specific cellular antigen(s) shared by colon and extra-colonic organs. Microbes may play an important role, probably by molecular mimicry. Early recognition of these extraintestinal manifestations should help guide therapy that will reduce overall morbidity in affected patients. This paper reviews the diagnosis, therapy and management of the more common EIMs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Autoimmune Diseases / complications*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / diagnosis
  • Autoimmune Diseases / drug therapy
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / complications
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / complications*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / immunology
  • Crohn Disease / complications*
  • Crohn Disease / immunology
  • Humans
  • Rheumatic Diseases / complications
  • Skin Diseases / complications


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents