A population-based study of the frequency of corticosteroid resistance and dependence in pediatric patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis

Jeanne Tung, Edward Vincent Loftus, Jr, Deborah K. Freese, Mounif El-Youssef, Alan R. Zinsmeister, L. Joseph Melton, W. Scott Harmsen, William J. Sandborn, William Alvis Faubion

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83 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The goal of this study was to examine the 1-year outcome after the first course of systemic corticosteroids in an inception cohort of pediatric patients with inflammatory bowel disease. METHODS: All Olmsted County (Minnesota) residents diagnosed with Crohn's disease (n = 50) or ulcerative colitis (n = 36) before 19 years of age from 1940 to 2001 were identified. Outcomes at 30 days and 1 year after the initial course of corticosteroids were recorded. RESULTS: Twenty-six patients with Crohn's disease (65%) and 14 with ulcerative colitis (44%) were treated with corticosteroids before age 19. Thirty-day outcomes for corticosteroid-treated Crohn's disease were complete remission in 16 (62%), partial remission in 7 (27%), and no response in 3 (12%), with 2 of these patients requiring surgery. Thirty-day outcomes for treated ulcerative colitis were complete remission in 7 (50%), partial remission in 4 (29%), and no response in 3 (21%). One-year outcomes for Crohn's disease were prolonged response in 11 (42%) and corticosteroid dependence in 8 (31%), whereas 7 (27%) were postsurgical. One-year outcomes for ulcerative colitis were prolonged response in 8 (57%) and corticosteroid dependence in 2 (14%), whereas 4 (29%) were postsurgical. CONCLUSIONS: Most pediatric patients with inflammatory bowel disease initially responded to corticosteroids. However, after 1 year, 58% of pediatric patients with Crohn's disease and 43% of pediatric patients with ulcerative colitis either were steroid dependent or required surgery. This finding emphasizes the need for early steroid-sparing medications in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1093-1100
Number of pages8
JournalInflammatory Bowel Diseases
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2006



  • Corticosteroids
  • Crohn's disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Outcomes
  • Ulcerative colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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