Inflammatory Markers in Children With Newly Diagnosed Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Andrew Stewart Day, Darcy Hamilton, Steven T Leach, Daniel A Lemberg


AIM: Various markers of inflammation are commonly utilised in the assessment of children with symptoms suggestive of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). The aim of this study was to outline the results of standard inflammatory markers in a large group of children at the time of diagnosis with IBD.

METHODS: The results of four standard inflammatory markers (ESR, albumin, platelet count and CRP) measured in a cohort of children diagnosed with IBD over a ten year period were reviewed retrospectively. Baseline demographic data, nutritional status (weight and height), disease type and disease location were also recorded.

RESULTS: Data was available for 206 children diagnosed with IBD: 146 were diagnosed with Crohn disease (CD), 30 with ulcerative colitis (UC) and 30 with IBD unclassified (IBDU). Children with CD had longer duration of symptoms, and weighed less with lower BMI than children in the other disease groups. Furthermore, albumin levels were lower and platelets counts higher in children with CD. All four of the tests were normal in 13% of children with CD and 36% of those with IBDU. Children with CD were more likely to have abnormalities in all four tests.

CONCLUSIONS: Children with CD were more likely to have abnormal systemic inflammatory markers and to have multiple abnormal tests. These patterns should be considered when investigating children with symptoms of possible IBD: one marker should not be considered in isolation.


Crohn disease; Children; Ulcerative colitis; Serum markers; Inflammation

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