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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1990 Nov;11(4):448-54.

Endoscopic and histologic findings in the upper gastrointestinal tract of children with Crohn's disease.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Chicago, Illinois 60637.


In an attempt to define endoscopic and histologic changes suggestive of upper gastrointestinal Crohn's disease (CD), the medical histories, endoscopic reports, and biopsies were reviewed from 24 pediatric patients with CD and 28 age-matched patients without CD in whom esophagogastroduodenoscopies were performed because of upper GI symptoms. No differences in the overall frequency of endoscopic abnormalities were found between the two groups. However, gastric erosions and ulcerations were more frequent in CD patients. Histological abnormalities in the stomach and duodenum were also more frequent in CD patients. Noncaseating granulomas were found in five patients with CD and in one patient without clinical, radiologic, or endoscopic evidence of CD. Focal inflammation in the stomach and duodenum occurred more frequently in CD patients. Two patients with CD had focal and deep chronic inflammatory infiltrates in the esophagus, which reached the submucosa. Abnormal histology was often seen in CD patients with normal endoscopic appearances. We conclude that superficial ulcerations seen during endoscopy and the histological finding of focal inflammation may represent upper GI CD in pediatric patients. Histological changes can be missed if biopsies are not taken from normal-appearing mucosa during endoscopy.

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