Pediatric Crohn’s disease (CD) is characterized by an aggressive course that commonly requires more intensive pharmacological and surgical treatments. In spite of the therapeutic advances in monitoring and management, including the widespread use of biologic therapy, the cumulative incidence of surgery in children with CD is still high. However, surgery is usually not curative and disease recurrence after small bowel resection is common. Gastrointestinal endoscopy is currently the gold standard to evaluate disease progression after surgery, but other non-invasive methods have been suggested. Although the efficacy of several drugs as medical prophylaxis to reduce the rate of disease recurrence following intestinal resection has been evaluated, selecting the most appropriate preventive therapeutic intervention remains a challenge. The current recommendations, mostly based on adult studies due to limited pediatric data, state that treatment should be guided by risk for recurrence. Low-risk patients may be given no prophylaxis or only 5-ASA. Maintenance enteral nutrition may also be considered. Thiopurines may be used in moderate risk of CD recurrence. In high risk patients for postoperative recurrence (extensive disease, short disease duration from diagnosis to surgery, recurrent surgery, long resected segment, surgery for fistulizing disease, disease complications, perianal disease, smoking), prophylactic treatment with anti-TNFα is recommended. subsequently, therapy should be guided by repeated measurement of objective measures including endoscopic re-evaluation at 6–12 months following surgery.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Pharmacology (medical)