Consensus and controversy in the management of pediatric Crohn disease: An international survey

Arie Levine*, Tamir Milo, Hans Buller, James Markowitz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objectives: Treatment options for patients with Crohn disease (CD) have expanded, but the use of some of these options in pediatric patients remains controversial. The authors evaluate current trends in treatment and areas of consensus or controversy. Methods: An international survey of certified pediatric gastroenterologists was conducted using an e-mail questionnaire in an attempt to evaluate management of active Crohn disease, attitudes toward four types of therapy, and prevalence of testing for osteopenia and 6-thioguanine levels. Results: One hundred sixty-seven physicians from the United States, Canada, Western Europe, and Israel were included. The majority of North American physicians (71%) prefer to use conventional steroids and azathioprine (AZA) before nutritional therapy or budesonide for patients with mild to moderately active disease, versus 21% of Western Europeans (P < 0.001). Western Europeans prefer nutritional therapy followed by budesonide or steroids for those with mild or moderate disease. Only 4% of North American gastroenterologists use nutritional therapy frequently versus 62% of their Western European colleagues (P < 0.001). Infliximab was thought to be effective for steroid-unresponsive disease by almost all physicians surveyed, although its efficacy as a maintenance therapy was rated higher by North American physicians than by their Western European and Israeli colleagues (P < 0.01). Bone mineral density is routinely evaluated by about 45% of physicians in Western Europe and North America. Conclusions: Attitudes toward current therapies vary significantly by region, with North Americans strongly favoring corticosteroids followed by immunomodulatory therapy, and Western Europeans favoring nutritional therapy or budesonide and the avoidance of conventional corticosteroids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-469
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Azathioprine
  • Budesonide
  • Child
  • Crohn disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Infliximab
  • Nutrition
  • Osteoporosis
  • Steroids
  • TNF
  • Therapy


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