Crohn Disease in Children and Teens (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
When to seek medical care for Crohn's disease in children and teens
How is Crohn's disease in children and teens diagnosed?
The child's evaluation will start with a medical interview and physical examination. The parents or caregivers will be asked questions about the child's:
The physical examination will include careful touching of the abdomen and possibly of the rectum. The child's physical growth and sexual development will be assessed. At any time during the evaluation, the child may be referred to a gastroenterologist (a doctor who specializes in diseases of the digestive tract).
There is no lab test that can absolutely confirm that a child has Crohn's disease. Blood tests may be done to look for evidence of the disease, such as inflammation, anemia, or nutritional deficiencies. A stool sample may be collected to look for blood or signs of infection.
The child may undergo imaging studies to detect the extent of the disease and any complications that may have developed.
Endoscopy is always necessary to make a definite diagnosis.
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is helpful for both diagnosis and treatment in people who have Crohn's disease of the pancreas or bile ducts.
Medical professionals who care for people with Crohn's disease use various systems for tracking symptoms and responses to treatment over time. The Pediatric Crohn's Disease Activity Index (PCDAI) was developed for children and adolescents in 1990 from a similar scale used for adults. The child's health care professional may use this scale to find patterns in disease severity and adjust treatment.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/2/2016
Andrew B. Grossman, MD
Bhupinder Anand, MD
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