Background and aims: Our study evaluated the prevalence, the characteristics and implications of the upper gastrointestinal localisation (UGI+) in paediatric Crohn's Disease (CD) patients. Methods: This prospective study evaluated 45 newly diagnosed CD patients at diagnosis and follow up with respect to CD localisation. Results: All patients presented CD at the colon and/or ileum. In 24/45 patients (53.3%, 12 F and 12 M) an UGI+ involvement was also found. UGI+ patients had a younger age of onset (10.9. years versus 12.6. years; P <0.05). PCDAI at diagnosis was significantly higher in the UGI+ (41 vs 25 P <0.01). UGI+ patients were overall more symptomatic. Pancolitis and extraintestinal manifestations were also more frequent (19/24 (80%) vs. 12/21 (57%) P <0.01). Growth was more impaired at diagnosis in UGI+ patients. By the end of the follow-up (mean 3. years, range 2 to 4) no significant difference was found in PCDAI (17 in UGI+ patients vs. 11 in UGI- P = NS), or the number of relapses. Weight and growth catch-up in UGI+ patients were comparable to UGI- ones. However, UGI+ patients required a more aggressive therapeutic approach. Conclusion: At least half of paediatric onset CD patients have an upper gastrointestinal localisation. UGI+ patients present an earlier onset and a more severe disease. The final outcome does not differ, but UGI+ patients require a more aggressive therapeutic approach.
- Crohn's disease
- Upper gastrointestinal involvement
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