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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2009 Feb;48(2):168-74. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e318175ca7f.

Growth abnormalities persist in newly diagnosed children with crohn disease despite current treatment paradigms.

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  • 1Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA. mdelrosa@iupui.edu



We analyzed growth outcomes in children newly diagnosed with Crohn disease and determined whether growth abnormalities persist despite current therapies.


Clinical and growth data were prospectively obtained on an inception cohort younger than 16 years old at diagnosis and Tanner I to III during the study.


In all, 176 children (mean age 10.1 years; 65% male) with mild (33%) or moderate/severe (67%) disease at diagnosis were studied. Disease activity at 1 year was inactive/mild (89%) or moderate/severe (11%). First-year treatments included immunomodulators (60%), corticosteroids (77%), 5-aminosalicylates (61%), infliximab (15%), and enteral nutrition (10%). By 2 years, 86% had received immunomodulators and 36% infliximab. Mean height z scores at diagnosis, 1 year, and 2 years were -0.49 +/- 1.2 standard deviations (SDs), -0.50 +/- 1.2, and -0.46 +/- 1.1, respectively. Of the subjects, 10%, 8%, and 6.5% had height z scores less than -2 SD at diagnosis, 1 year, and 2 years. A height velocity z score less than -1SD was seen in 45% of subjects at 1 year and 38% at 2 years. The mean height velocity z score, however, increased between 1 and 2 years from -0.71 to 0.26 (P < 0.03). Corticosteroid use greater than 6 months in the first year was associated with abnormal height velocity at 1 year (adjusted odds ratio = 4.5; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.2-9.6). No statistically significant effect on height velocity z scores was noted when comparing those receiving or not receiving infliximab.


Growth delay persists in many children with CD following diagnosis, despite improved disease activity and the frequent use of immunomodulators and biologics. Additional strategies to improve growth outcomes require development.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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