Nutritional therapy of Crohn's disease in childhood.Dig Dis Sci. 1987 Dec; 32(12 Suppl):82S-88S.DD
Crohn's disease is a chronic, incurable inflammatory bowel disease commonly diagnosed in childhood and adolescence. Growth failure represents a common, serious complication unique to the pediatric age group. Although the etiology of growth failure is multifactorial, malnutrition due to inadequate nutrient intake is the primary cause. Recent studies have demonstrated that nutritional supplementation through an enteral or parenteral route restores body composition and reverses linear and ponderal growth failure. The development of elemental diets that can be administered nasogastrically at home has afforded a more practical, less expensive, and less hazardous method of providing Crohn's disease patients with nutritional supplementation and bowel rest. Elemental-diet therapy has also been shown to be a safe, effective method of inducing a remission in acute Crohn's disease. Further studies are required to develop optimal nutritional therapy which may sustain long-term remission in this disease.