Pediatric inflammatory bowel disease in Greece: 30-years experience of a single center

Authors Konstantina Dimakou, Ioanna Pachoula, Ioanna Panayotou, Kalliopi Stefanaki, Irini Orfanou, Evagelia Lagona, Eleftheria Roma-Giannikou, Georgios Chouliaras.


Background Significant advances have been made in the care of children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We aimed to describe the trends during the last 3 decades in the clinical presentation, management, and outcome of pediatric IBD at a single center.

Methods Medical records of children with IBD referred to a pediatric gastroenterology unit from January 1981 to December 2011 were reviewed retrospectively.

Results A total of 483 children were diagnosed with IBD, with mean age at diagnosis of 9.6 years (range 6 months - 18 years). Ulcerative colitis (UC) was diagnosed in 267 (55.2%), Crohn's disease (CD) in 167 (34.5%), and IBD unclassified (IBDU) in 49 (10.1%). Children with UC and IBDU were younger than those with CD [mean age at diagnosis 9.2, 8.9, and 10.5 years respectively; P (UC vs. CD)<0.01 and P (IBDU vs. CD)=0.028]. Patients received 5-ASA (96.6%), steroids (77.0%), thiopurines (50.2%), biological agents (14%), and 10% underwent surgical intervention. The cohort was divided into three subgroups according to the date of diagnosis; Group A: 1981‑1989, Group B: 1990-1999, and Group C: 2000-2011. During the last two decades a significant increase in CD (Group A 18.5%, Group B 23.8%, Group C 48.8%; P<0.01) compared with the first decade with parallel decrease in UC (Group A 79.6%, Group B 71.9%, Group C 33.2%; P<0.001) was observed.

Conclusions Most children received 5-ASA, steroids, and immunomodulators. Patients with UC and IBDU were younger than those with CD. A significant increase in CD with parallel decrease in UC during the last decade was found.

Keywords Ιnflammatory bowel disease, children, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, unclassified IBD, treatment

Ann Gastroenterol 2015; 28 (1): 81-86

Original Articles