The natural course of inflammatory bowel disease-indeterminate from childhood to adulthood: Within a 25 year period

Hoda M. Malaty, Seema Mehta, Bincy P. Abraham, Elizabeth A. Garnett, George D. Ferry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)-indeterminate is a subgroup of IBD that has features of both ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD). Aims: To determine the clinical course of IBD-indeterminate in children over a 25 year period. Methods: We performed a retrospective investigation on children diagnosed with IBD. Diagnosis and disease distribution of IBD was based on clinical, radiologic, endoscopic, and histologic examinations. Results: Four hundred and twenty children diagnosed with IBD between 1986 and 2003 were identified from the IBD registry, 78 (22%) of whom were diagnosed with IBD-indeterminate. The mean age at diagnosis was 9.2 ± 4 years and the mean follow-up period was 4.1 ± 2 years. In 2003, 18 of 78 children (23%) were reclassified by the same physician based on the endoscopic and pathologic findings as follows: eight children with CD, five children with UC, and five children with non-IBD (eg, eosinophilic colitis). During 2011, 20 of the 60 patients who had maintained an IBD-indeterminate diagnosis were located and contacted, and detailed telephone interviews were conducted by the corresponding author. Two patients were reclassified as having CD (10%), one patient was reclassified as having eosinophilic colitis (5%), six patients remained with IBD-indeterminate (30%), and eleven patients (55%) reported a complete resolution of their symptoms. The follow-up period ranged from 10-18 years (mean 12.5 ± 3 years). Children who were reclassified as having CD were significantly younger than those who maintained an IBD-indeterminate diagnosis (6.4 ± 4 years versus11.2 ± 3years, respectively, P = 0.05). Conclusion: Children with IBD-indeterminate remain classified as IBD-indeterminate, or were clinically reclassified as CD or non-IBD, or became asymptomatic as they transitioned into adulthood. The need for IBD-indeterminate classification is of importance, especially when deciding on management and treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-121
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Gastroenterology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Children
  • Clinical course
  • Epidemiology
  • IBD-indeterminate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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