Growth Pattern in Paediatric Crohn Disease Is Related to Inflammatory Status

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Objectives:The respective role of disease activity and steroid therapy in growth impairment in paediatric-onset Crohn disease (CD) is still debated. Our aim was to investigate whether the growth pattern of children with CD was correlated with the inflammatory status during the disease course, regardless the cumulative duration of steroid therapy.Methods:One hundred and seven patients with a diagnosis of CD <17 years, followed during ≥2 years and for whom ≥2 height measures were available during follow-up, were identified between 1998 and 2010. Height, C-reactive protein (CRP), orosomucoid, and steroid therapy duration were collected at each visit. The relationship between the evolution of growth velocity and inflammatory status during follow-up was investigated using a linear mixed model with random coefficients.Results:Median age at diagnosis was 11.7 years (Q1–Q3: 9.8–13.5). Mean height for age (H/A) z score was 0.14 ± 1.29 at diagnosis and 0.05 ± 1.23 among the 75 patients who had reached their final height at maximal follow-up (median: 4.9 years; Q1–Q3: 3.8–6.4). Growth failure (H/A z score <−2) was present in 7 (8%) patients at diagnosis and 5 (5%) at maximal follow-up. Growth velocity was negatively correlated with the evolution of CRP (P < 0.0001) and orosomucoid (P < 0.0001) during follow-up. After adjustment for the cumulative duration of steroid therapy, these 2 correlations remained significant (CRP: P = 0.0008; orosomucoid: P < 0.0001).Conclusions:Children with CD with uncontrolled inflammatory status have a lower growth velocity. The inflammatory status should be kept as close to normal as possible in paediatric-onset patients with CD to optimize their growth pattern.

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