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JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 1992 Nov-Dec;16(6):499-504.

Improved growth and disease activity after intermittent administration of a defined formula diet in children with Crohn's disease.

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Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, California.


Growth failure is the most common extraintestinal manifestation of Crohn's disease in childhood, occurring in up to 50% to 88% of affected patients. Previous studies have shown malnutrition to be the most likely cause of the decrease in height and weight velocities in these children. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of an intermittent defined formula diet on growth and disease activity in children with Crohn's disease and growth failure. Six Tanner stage I-II patients, mean age 13.6 years with height less than the 5th percentile or height velocity less than the 3rd percentile were enrolled in a 1-year prospective study. An isotonic, hydrolyzed whey, medium-chain triglyceride formula was given by nocturnal nasogastric infusion at a caloric equivalent of 50th percentile for age, as the exclusive nutrient source 1 out of 4 months during a 1-year period. A 2-week exclusion diet and a 2-week low-residue diet followed the defined formula diet before resuming the regular diet for 2 months. Patients served as their individual control based on observations of at least 1 year before the study. Height and weight velocity significantly increased. Prednisone intake significantly decreased, and significant improvement was seen in disease activity, albumin, and somatomedin C. The results indicate that an intermittent defined formula diet can improve growth failure and significantly decrease disease activity in children with Crohn's disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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