Differentiation Between Crohn Disease and Intestinal Tuberculosis in Children

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Abstract

Objectives:

The aim of the study was to evaluate clinical, endoscopic, radiologic, and histopathological features helpful in differentiating Crohn disease (CD) from intestinal tuberculosis (ITB) in children.

Methods:

Patients diagnosed to have CD or ITB based on standard recommended criteria were enrolled. Children with inflammatory bowel disease unclassified or suspected ITB or CD with incomplete work-up or lost to follow-up were excluded. The clinical and laboratory (radiology, endoscopy, and histology) details of children were analyzed.

Results:

Twenty cases of ITB (14 [3–17] years) and 23 of CD (11 [1–17] years) were enrolled. Presentation with chronic diarrhea (82% vs 40%; P = 0.006) and blood in stool (74% vs 10%; P = 0.001) favored CD, whereas subacute intestinal obstruction (20% vs 0%; P = 0.04) and ascites (30% vs 0%; P = 0.005) favored ITB. Presence of deep ulcers (61% vs 30%; P = 0.04), longitudinal ulcers (48% vs 15%; P = 0.02), involvement of multiple colonic segments (70% vs 35%; P = 0.02), left-sided colon (87% vs 40%; P = 0.003), extraintestinal manifestations (21.7% vs 0%; P = 0.02), and higher platelet count (3.9 vs 2.6 × 105/mm3; P = 0.02) favored CD. Isolated ileocecal involvement (40% vs 8.7%; P = 0.03) was a feature of ITB. TB bacilli were demonstrated in 40% ITB cases (colon-6, ascites-1, abdominal lymph node-1). On multivariate analysis, presence of blood in stool (odds ratio: 37.5 [confidence interval: 3.85–365.72], P = 0.002) and left-sided colonic involvement (odds ratio: 16.2 [confidence interval: 1.63–161.98], P = 0.02) were independent predictors of CD.

Conclusions:

Microbiologic confirmation of tuberculosis is possible in 40% ITB cases. Presence of blood in stool and left-sided colonic involvement are the most important features favoring CD.

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