Phenotype and disease course of early-onset pediatric inflammatory bowel disease

Marina Aloi, Paolo Lionetti, Arrigo Barabino, Graziella Guariso, Stefano Costa, Massimo Fontana, Claudio Romano, Giuliano Lombardi, Erasmo Miele, Patrizia Alvisi, Paolo Diaferia, Maurizio Baldi, Vittorio Romagnoli, Marco Gasparetto, Monica Di Paola, Monica Muraca, Salvatore Pellegrino, Salvatore Cucchiara, Stefano Martelossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Early-onset (EO) pediatric inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) seem to be more extensive than those with a later onset. To test this hypothesis, we examined the phenotype and disease course of patients with IBD diagnosis at 0 to 5 years, compared with the ranges ± to 11 and 12 to 18 years. Methods: Anatomic locations and behaviors were assessed according to Paris classification in 506 consecutive patients: 224 Crohn's disease, 245 ulcerative colitis, and 37 IBD-unclassified. Results: Eleven percent of patients were in the range 0 to 5 years, 39% in ± to 11 years, and 50% in 12 to 18 years. Ulcerative colitis was the most frequent diagnosis in EO-IBD and in 6- to 11-year-old group, whereas Crohn's disease was predominant in older children. A classification as IBDunclassified was more common in the range 0 to 5 years compared with the other groups (P <0.005). EO Crohn's disease showed a more frequent isolated colonic (P <0.005) and upper gastrointestinal involvement than later-onset disease. Sixty-two percent of the patients in the 0 to 5 years range had pancolonic ulcerative colitis, compared with 38% of ± to 11 years (P = 0.02) and 31% of 12-18 years (P = 0.002) range. No statistical difference for family history for IBD was found in the 3-year age groups. Therapies at the diagnosis were similar for all children. However, at latest follow-up, a significantly higher proportion of younger children were under steroids compared with older groups (P <0.05). Surgical risk did not differ according to age. Conclusions: EO-IBD exhibits an extensive phenotype and benefit from aggressive treatment strategies, although surgical risk is similar to later-onset disease. A family history for IBD is not common in EO disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-605
Number of pages9
JournalInflammatory Bowel Diseases
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Children
  • Early onset
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Medicine(all)


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