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Keywords:

  • children;
  • Crohn disease;
  • ulcerative colitis

Abstract

Crohn disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), the two main types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), have become increasingly common in Australasian children and adolescents in recent years. Furthermore, CD and UC are seen more often in younger children. These conditions are typically more extensive in children and tend to follow more severe disease courses than in adults. Although many children may present with typical symptoms (such as abdominal pain or bloody diarrhoea), others have atypical features (including oral ulceration, short stature or skin manifestations). In addition, many children with IBD will have altered growth or nutrition, which may compromise normal linear growth and pubertal development. Early identification and full assessment of children presenting with possible IBD are essential to avoid consequences of diagnostic delay and to optimise short- and long-term outcomes. Management of IBD encompasses various options and should be undertaken within a team-based, child and family-focused, multidisciplinary setting.