Diagnostic considerations in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease management

Carmen Cuffari

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Approximately 20% of all inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) first presents in childhood or adolescence, and approximately 10% of the estimated 1.4 million Americans with IBD are under age 17. Diagnosis in pediatric patients may be complicated at presentation due to atypical symptoms and/or extraintestinal manifestations (eg, short stature, chronic anemia, unexplained fever, arthritis, mouth ulcers). Pediatric IBD is traditionally diagnosed using endoscopic evaluations of the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract with mucosal biopsies for histologic confirmation. Less invasive serologic testing for IBD may be particularly valuable in pediatric patients, particularly given the association between serum immune reactivity and severe disease phenotypes that is drawing increasing attention. These serologic markers may help stratify risk and identify appropriate pediatric candidates for early aggressive therapy. Serologic testing in pediatric patients includes traditional IBD serologic markers such as anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies and perinuclear antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody, as well as newer antimicrobial antibodies, including antibodies to outer membrane porin C; I2, a bacterial sequence derived from Pseudomonas fluorescens; and CBir1 flagellin, a colitogenic antigen of the enteric microbial flora in C3H/HeJBir mice strain. Given recent data associating seropositivity with aggressive clinical phenotypes and rapid disease progression, serologic testing may allow early initiation of therapy, maintenance of remission, reduction of corticosteroid exposure, facilitation of mucosal healing, and restoration of normal growth velocity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)775-783
Number of pages9
JournalGastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009


  • Biologic therapy
  • Diagnosis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Pediatric
  • Phenotypes
  • Prognostic
  • Serologic markers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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