Head-to-Head: Nutritional Therapy versus Biological Therapy in Pediatric Crohn’s Disease

The best data to date: D Lee et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2015; 21: 1786-93. In this prospective study, the authors studied treatment initiation in children (N=90), comparing partial enteral nutrition (PEN, n=16), exclusive enteral nutrition (EEN, n=22), and anti-TNF therapy (n=52).


  • Clinical response, defined by PCDAI reduction ≤15 or final PCDAI ≤10, was achieved by 64% PEN, 88% EEN, and 84% anti-TNF.
  • Fecal calprotectin ≤250 noted in 14% PEN, 45% EEN, and 62% anti-TNF

Because of the discrepancy between EEN and PEN, the authors speculate that the “efficacy of EEN may be a consequence of elimination of table food rather than providing a uniquely therapeutic method of delivering nutrients.”  They note that “choice of formula has not impacted the efficacy of enteral nutrition.”

More extensive information on this subject: D Lee et al. Gastroenterol 2015; 148: 1087-1106.

Bottomline: Anti-TNF therapy was as effective or more effective than EEN. And, “for patients who prefer treatment with a nutrition-based therapy, EEN seems superior to PEN.”

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7 thoughts on “Head-to-Head: Nutritional Therapy versus Biological Therapy in Pediatric Crohn’s Disease

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