Pediatric inflammatory bowel disease: highlighting pediatric differences in IBD

Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2009 Dec;38(4):611-28. doi: 10.1016/j.gtc.2009.07.010.


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) includes Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis, and is often diagnosed in late childhood and early adulthood. What determines the age of onset remains unexplained. Early onset may represent the "pure" form of the disease process and hence may hold secrets of the initiating events of IBD pathogenesis. Clinical scientists continue to focus on pediatric IBD because it may shed light on the cause and prevention of this lifelong disease. Over the last decade, data in pediatric IBD studies have demonstrated many similarities and differences between pediatric and adult onset, which continue to add pieces to an increasingly complex IBD puzzle. The mechanism responsible for these similarities and differences remains unanswered. This article discusses clinically relevant epidemiology and treatment aspects of pediatric IBD, with special focus on similarities and differences in pediatric and adult IBD. Evidence-based treatment algorithms, with special focus on pediatric studies and care for children, are also highlighted.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / epidemiology
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / therapy
  • Crohn Disease / epidemiology
  • Crohn Disease / therapy
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome