Comparison of the clinical features of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis with onset in childhood or adolescence

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Our recent publications have described the long-term prognosis of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease with onset in childhood and adolescence.1–4 The purpose of this paper is to compare the clinical features of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease with onset in childhood or adolescence.5–9 Awareness of the differences in the clinical features of these two diseases should be helpful in treating a young person with either disease.

Patients and methods

Between January 1, 1955 and December 31, 1974, 858 patients 20 years old or younger at the time of diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease were seen at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. The records of 1050 patients with a possible diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease from a wide geographic area were screened to obtain the group of patients with confirmed diagnosis.

The clinical, roentgenographic, and histologic features, when available, were reviewed, and according to established criteria patients were classified as having Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.10 The method of follow-up has been described.1–2 Trained interviewers contacted the patients by telephone to obtain information that we verified pertaining to complications and clinical course of the diseases. Crohn’s disease had been diagnosed in 522 patients and ulcerative colitis in 336. The data obtained on these patients were entered into a computer and for the purpose of this study the clinical features of 505 patients with Crohn’s disease are compared with those of 333 patients with ulcerative colitis. Excluded were 20 cases with insufficient data for comparison. The percentages in Tables 1 . . .



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