The inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are chronic relapsing inflammatory disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, comprising Crohn’s disease (CD), ulcerative colitis (UC), and IBD-unclassified (IBD-U). CD is characterized by a transmural and often granulomatous inflammation that can involve any part of the gastrointestinal tract in a discontinuous manner, while UC is defined as a chronic inflammatory condition causing continuous mucosal inflammation of the colon, without granulomas on biopsy, affecting the rectum and a variable extent of the colon in continuity. The term IBD-U is used for patients presenting with IBD restricted to the colon without the specific features of either CD or UC.2 Early-onset IBD represents a distinct disease entity with differences in disease type, disease location, disease behavior, gender preponderance, and genetically attributable risk compared with late-onset IBD. As in adults, treatment of early-onset IBD is aimed at inducing and maintaining remission, but special considerations are needed regarding optimal growth, pubertal development, and the transition period to adult care. A better understanding of the differences between early-onset and late-onset IBD will eventually lead to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of the disease. One of the limitations of studying pediatric IBD is however that a relatively small number of patients is available for study at one institution, which requires ongoing collaborations between many institutions. This thesis will present six (inter)national multicenter studies, a single-center pilot study and a review, which all focus on the unique clinical aspects of pediatric IBD, thereby complementing the relatively small body of literature on the diagnosis and treatment of children with IBD.

Gastroenterology, bowel diseases, epidemiology, inflammatory diseases, pediatrics
A.J. van der Heijden (Bert)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Publication of this thesis was fi nancially supported by: Nederlandse Vereniging voor Gastroenterologie, Merck Sharp & Dohme B.V., Tramedico, Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition, Nestlé Nutrition, and ABBOTT Immunology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

de Bie, C.I. (2012, September 7). Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease: from diagnosis to transition. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from