Sudden blindness in a child with Crohn's disease

Arrigo Vittorio Barabino, Paolo Gandullia, Angela Calvi, Silvia Vignola, Serena Arrigo, Riccardo de Marco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is often associated with extraintestinal manifestations (EIMs) such as optic neuritis (ON), although this has been described in only a few adult patients so far, all of whom were affected with Crohn's disease (CD). Furthermore, ON and demyelinating diseases have been demonstrated to be more frequent in IBD patients than in control populations. In our current case report, we describe a child with active CD who developed sudden blindness due to bilateral ON that was not related to any known cause, and that promptly responded to a high dose of steroids. Investigations and a clinical follow-up have so far ruled out the development of demyelinating diseases in this patient. To our knowledge, this is the first report of ON in a pediatric patient with CD. Possible explanations for this case include an episodic EIM of an active bowel disease, an associated autoimmune disorder such as a recurrent isolated ON, the first manifestation of multiple sclerosis, or another demyelinating disease that could appear in a later follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4344-4346
Number of pages3
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number38
Publication statusPublished - Oct 14 2011


  • Crohn's disease
  • Demyelinating disease
  • Extraintestinal manifestations
  • Optic neuritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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