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Pediatric inflammatory bowel disease: Is it really uncommon in Asian children?

Poddar U, Yachha SK, Srivastava A, Kumari N

Published Apr 2021, in the Journal of gastroenterology and hepatology


Background/aim: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is said to be rare in Asian children, and there is scarce information from India. We therefore analyzed our experience of pediatric IBD. Methods: Prospectively maintained data of 105 consecutive children [median age 12 (IQR:7-14) years, 71 males] with IBD from July 2001 through June 2016 were retrospectively analyzed. Their detailed clinical features, endoscopic appearance, histopathology, and treatment outcomes were recorded. For Crohn's disease (CD), disease phenotype and disease location were assessed as per Paris classification. Results: Disease spectrum includes ulcerative colitis (UC), 55 (52%); CD, 43 (41%); and IBD-unclassified, 7 (7%). There was a significant increase in the number of cases in the last 5 years compared to the previous 10 years (63 vs. 42, r2 = 0.96). Most UC cases (75%) had extensive/pancolitis, 74% of CD had colonic/ileocolonic disease, and 65% had inflammatory phenotype. Fever, growth failure, pain in abdomen, and need for surgery were significantly more frequent in CD than in UC (P < 0.0001). Over a median follow up of 19 (IQR: 7-48) months, remission was achieved in 48 of 51 (94%) UC patients and in 24 of 34 (70.6%) CD patients; an immunomodulator was required to maintain remission in 67% of UC cases. In CD, there was a significant reduction in the use of empirical antitubercular therapy (76%, P = 0.008) with time, and disease progressed in three. Conclusions: IBD is not uncommon, and the incidence seems to be increasing among Indian children. UC is more common than CD and is more often an extensive disease. CD is mainly an inflammatory phenotype. The majority of children with IBD required an immunomodulator to maintain remission.

Keywords: antitubercular treatment trial; incidence; progression.


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