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Clin Invest Med. 1996 Oct;19(5):373-80.

Therapeutic strategies for pediatric Crohn disease.

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Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Floating Hospital for Children, Boston, Mass., USA.


The main aims of therapy for inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn disease) in children and adolescents are (1) the induction and maintenance of remission, (2) the correction of nutrient deficits and (3) the restoration of growth and maturation. These goals are reached with the use of a combination of therapeutic methods, including pharmacologic agents, nutritional and psychological support, and surgical intervention. The commonly used drugs sulfasalazine, corticosteroids and metronidazole have all been shown to be safe and efficacious when given to children. Newer steroid preparations that are rapidly degraded either in the target tissue or elsewhere are being studied. Of these, budesonide currently shows promise as an efficacious drug with few side effects, but its use in children needs further study. Newer 5-amino-salicylate preparations such as Asacol have been shown to be effective in children, but the number of patients studied is small. Immunomodulatory drugs such as azathioprine and 6-mercaptopurine appear to be safe and efficacious for children; cyclosporine has been used infrequently to treat refractory Crohn disease in children. The use of other agents such as methotrexate, tacrolimus, monoclonal antibodies to cytokines, antibiotics and specific dietary products such as fish oils have not been intensively studied in children with Crohn disease. Nutritional therapy remains a mainstay of treatment because it corrects nutritional deficits, replaces losses and stimulates growth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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