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Surg Clin North Am. 2007 Jun;87(3):673-80.

Extra-intestinal manifestations of Crohn's disease.

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Department of Surgery, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City IA, 52242, USA.


Extra-intestinal manifestations occur in at least 25% of Crohn's disease patients. Some extra-intestinal manifestations, such as erythema nodusum and peripheral arthropathy, will wax and wane in keeping with bowel inflammation. The more severe cutaneous ulcerations, uveitis, and axial arthropathy may precede bowel disease or persist after it subsides. Screening may be appropriate for eye disease and for osteoporosis to prevent complications. Medical management for extra-intestinal manifestations is similar to treatment for the bowel symptoms of Crohn's disease, with corticosteroids the mainstay. Pain and depression are associated with inflammatory bowel disease, and their control benefits patients. Recent small studies with anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) agents are promising for most extra-intestinal manifestations of Crohn's disease, and may permit more steroid-sparing disease control in the future.

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