Since Dr Smethurst in 1859 was prosecuted for poisoning Mrs Ballks, who apparently suffered from Crohn's disease, there have been many different theories about the nature of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The concept of idiopathic ulcerative colitis in the late 19th century and its differentiation from idiopathic regional ileitis, later known as Crohn's disease, only appeared in the last hundred years. Much has still to be learned about the etiology and pathogenesis of these diseases. Before 1970, genetic factors or hypersensitivity to certain unknown micro-organisms or toxic agents were poshdated, and these concepts have not as yet been refuted. In the last two decades, research has concentrated on elements of the intestinal immune system in the pathogenesis ofIBD.

Tramedico (Weesp, the Netherlands), Novartis (Basle)
J.H.P. Wilson (Paul)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van Bergeijk, J. (1999, April 7). Somatostatin and Intestinal Inflammation. Retrieved from