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Papers of the Week

Papers: 17 Dec 2022 - 23 Dec 2022

2022 Dec 22


Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease.


Bouhuys M, Lexmond WS, van Rheenen PF
Pediatrics. 2022 Dec 22.
PMID: 36545774.


Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are chronic, immune-mediated disorders that include Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. A pediatric onset of disease occurs in about 10% of all cases. Clinical presentation of IBD with rectal bleeding or perianal disease warrants direct referral for endoscopic evaluation. In the absence of red-flag symptoms, a combination of patient history and blood and fecal biomarkers can help to distinguish suspected IBD from other causes of abdominal pain or diarrhea. The therapeutic management of pediatric IBD has evolved by taking into account predictors of poor outcome, which justifies the upfront use of anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy for patients at high risk for complicated disease. In treating patients with IBD, biochemical or endoscopic remission, rather than clinical remission, is the therapeutic goal because intestinal inflammation often persists despite resolution of abdominal symptoms. Pediatric IBD comes with unique additional challenges, such as growth impairment, pubertal delay, the psychology of adolescence, and development of body image. Even after remission has been achieved, many patients with IBD continue to experience nonspecific symptoms like abdominal pain and fatigue. Transfer to adult care is a well-recognized risk for disease relapse, which highlights patient vulnerability and the need for a transition program that is continued by the adult-oriented IBD team. The general pediatrician is an invaluable link in integrating these challenges in the clinical care of patients with IBD and optimizing their outcomes. This state-of-the-art review aims to provide general pediatricians with an update on pediatric IBD to facilitate interactions with pediatric gastrointestinal specialists.