Identification and diagnosis of Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis in children

J Paediatr Child Health. 2020 Nov;56(11):1731-1734. doi: 10.1111/jpc.14925. Epub 2020 May 29.


Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis are the two main types of inflammatory bowel disease. High rates of these conditions are seen in Australasian children - furthermore, increasing rates have been evident in recent years. Children can present with typical symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhoea, haematochezia and/or weight loss. Atypical presentations (such as skin lesions or isolated short stature) can also occur: these may be associated with delays in the consideration and diagnosis of IBD. Initial steps in establishing a diagnosis of IBD include delineation of inflammatory markers exclusion of any other likely aetiology. Definitive diagnosis relies upon key endoscopic, histologic and radiological findings. Overall management of IBD encompasses care within a team-based, child and family-focused, multi-disciplinary setting.

Keywords: Crohn disease; children; inflammatory bowel disease; ulcerative colitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Colitis, Ulcerative* / diagnosis
  • Colitis, Ulcerative* / therapy
  • Crohn Disease* / diagnosis
  • Crohn Disease* / therapy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases*