Arch Dis Child 91:426-432 doi:10.1136/adc.2005.080481
  • Review

Inflammatory bowel disease

  1. R M Beattie1,
  2. N M Croft2,
  3. J M Fell3,
  4. N A Afzal1,
  5. R B Heuschkel4
  1. 1Paediatric Medical Unit, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, UK
  2. 2Centre for Adult and Paediatric Gastroenterology, Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, Barts and The London, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK
  3. 3Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, UK
  4. 4Centre for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Royal Free Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr R M Beattie
    Paediatric Medical Unit, Southampton General Hospital, Tremona Road, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK; mark.beattie{at}
  • Accepted 23 January 2006


Twenty five per cent of inflammatory bowel disease presents in childhood. Growth and nutrition are key issues in the management with the aim of treatment being to induce and then maintain disease remission with minimal side effects. Only 25% of Crohn’s disease presents with the classic triad of abdominal pain, weight loss, and diarrhoea. Most children with ulcerative colitis have blood in the stool at presentation. Inflammatory markers are usually although not invariably raised at presentation (particularly in Crohn’s disease). Full investigation includes upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and ileocolonoscopy. Treatment requires multidisciplinary input as part of a clinical network led by a paediatrician with special expertise in the management of the condition.


  • Competing interests: none declared

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