An expert panel of the European Crohn's and Colitis Organisation (ECCO) and European Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) initiated a consensus process to produce the first pediatric specific ulcerative colitis (UC) guidelines based on a systematic literature review. Treatment strategies must reflect that pediatric-onset UC has a slightly different phenotype than adult-onset disease with more often extensive (pancolitis) and more aggressive disease course. Other pediatric-specific aspects include growth, puberty, bone density accrual and emotional development and body image acquisition. These differences and others influenced the development of pediatric treatment algorithms. It is recommended that virtually all children with UC must be treated with some maintenance therapy and 5-ASA requirement and dosing are often higher in children. A larger number of children are at risk for steroid-dependency, and this should not be tolerated; steroid sparing strategies with early use of immunosuppressors are recommended in high-risk patients. On the other hand, the safety profile of immunosuppressive therapy in children includes the rare forms of lymphomas and many future treatment years. Colectomy and pouch formation should be balanced in the treatment algorithms against the higher rate of future infertility in girls. The acute and on-going management of pediatric UC should be guided by evidence- and consensus-based balanced decisions, reflecting a vision of long-term treatment goals.
- Consensus guidelines
- Ulcerative colitis