Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Ibd):Very Young Patients Can Also Be Affected

Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD – a condition that includes both Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis – is no longer limited to the adult population.

A research carried out by the Pediatric Clinic of the University of Trieste (Italy) at the Institute for Maternal and Child Health Burlo Garofolo, a hospital highly specialized in infant health, reports an increased prevalence of IBD not only among the general pediatric population, but surprisingly, also in children younger than two years of age.

The study, launched in 1984 and completed along 20 years, was recently published by the European Journal of Pediatrics. It reached two main conclusions:

-very early onset IBDs (before the age of 2) represent an estimated 9% of all the pediatric onset IBDs (occurring before the age of 16)

-these early forms are particularly severe versions of the disease and may hide an underlying inborn error of the immune system, therefore they require a more invasive therapy other than surgical and immunosuppressive therapies.

Moreover, since the disorder may initially be mistaken as a food allergy, the diagnosis is often delayed.

The Pediatric Clinic of the IRCCS Burlo Garofolo followed 184 patients affected by IBD for a minimum of two years. 8.6% of these (16 children) were diagnosed with IBD within their second year of life (as many as 12 children were diagnosed before the first year). In 12 out of 16 cases the IBD diagnosis was confirmed by additional investigations, while in the remaining 4 cases other conditions involving the immune system were identified.

As many as half of the patients were initially classified as allergic to cow’s milk proteins. For this reason they underwent an exclusion diet for a long time, despite the absence of any clinical benefit. Overall, these cases turned out being more severe if compared to the ones with a later onset and often surgical and aggressive immunosuppressive treatment were required.

“Being in the privileged position of reference centre that followed more than 300 IBD pediatric cases in the last two decades – underlines Alessandro Ventura, director of the Pediatric Clinic of the University of Trieste at the IMCHBG – we realized that IBD can have a very precocious onset: if this is the case, the disease tends to be particularly severe. In the past, IBD was long considered specific of the adult population, therefore pediatricians rarely looked for it within the pediatric groups.

Even today IBD symptoms are often misclassified as cow’s milk protein allergy, which causes a severe diagnostic delay. For this reason, the presence of an inflammatory intestinal disorder should be kept in mind by the pediatricians: if an intestinal problem, such as bloody-mucous diarrhoea, persists after 3-4 weeks, especially if in the presence of fever, impaired growth, weight loss, perianal fistulas or abscesses, one should include IBD in the differential diagnosis.”

“We estimate that in our region, Friuli Venezia Giulia, some 50 children suffer from the disease” explains Stefano Martelossi, Director of the Department of Gastroenterology at IMCHBG. “At present, our center is following 50 patients from FVG affected by this disorder and more than 200 from other Italian regions. This study proved that IBDs can show up at any age, including the very first years of life. Therefore, it is mandatory that pediatricians be well aware and alerted to promptly recognize the disease. The earlier the onset the more severe the disease, and the more negative the consequences of a diagnostic delay. One should also keep in mind that, in some cases, a very precocious onset might hide and underlying inborn error of immunity.”

IBD is a family of chronic invalidating disorders characterized by inflammation of the intestinal mucosa, diarrhoea, maladsorption, blood in the stools and other complications. While the genetic predisposition to the disorder has been demonstrated, several hypotheses based on an alteration of intestinal immunity have been proposed to explain the recent increase in the disease prevalence among both adult and pediatric population.

Currently, no definite therapy exists for IBD. However, recently, several so-called biological drugs made by monoclonal antibodies, tailor-made to inactivate specific targets such as the molecules that trigger inflammation, were used to treat IBD. A prompt use of these medications allows a better control of the symptoms and offers the patients an acceptable quality of life.


"IBD and IBD mimicking enterocolitis in children younger than 2 years of age"

Z. Cannioto1, I. Berti1, S. Martelossi1, I. Bruno1, N. Giurici1 , S. Crovella1 and A. Ventura1, 2

(1) Department of Reproduction and Development Sciences, University of Trieste—IRCCS Burlo Garofolo, Trieste, Italy

(2) Clinica Pediatrica, Università di Trieste—IRCCS Burlo Garofolo, Via dell’Istria 65/1, 34134 Trieste, Italy

Received: 28 October 2007 Revised: 10 March 2008 Accepted: 17 March 2008 Published online: 11 June 2008

Cristina Serra | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>