Intended for healthcare professionals

Clinical Review State of the Art Review

Diagnosis and management of inflammatory bowel disease in children

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: (Published 31 May 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j2083
  1. Stephanie B Oliveira, clinical fellow in pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition1,
  2. Iona M Monteiro, associate professor of pediatrics, division chief, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition2
  1. 1Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center Ringgold standard institution, Cincinnati, OH, USA
  2. 2Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Ringgold standard institution – Pediatrics, Newark, NJ 07103-2714, USA
  1. Correspondence to: I Monteiro monteiim{at}


Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, are lifelong conditions that often begin in childhood. The implications of IBD are of particular importance in children because of the potential negative effects on growth, development, psychosocial function, and overall wellbeing. The key management strategy is to achieve sustained control of intestinal inflammation and monitor for potential complications of the disease and side effects of therapies. Overall, the evidence on the management of IBD in children is less extensive than in adults, but good quality multicenter studies and various guidelines and society consensus statements are available. This review summarizes the evidence on the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and approaches to management of children and adolescents with IBD.


  • Series explanation: State of the Art Reviews are commissioned on the basis of their relevance to academics and specialists in the US and internationally. For this reason they are written predominantly by US authors

  • Contributors: Both authors were involved in the literature review and in the drafting and critical review of the manuscript, and both approved the final version. IMM is the guarantor.

  • Competing interests: We have read and understood BMJ policy on declaration of interests and have nothing to declare.

  • Provenance and peer review: Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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