Growth in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Better Late Than Never

Briefly noted: N Gupta et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2020; 26: 1880-1889. Continued Statural Growth in Older Adolescents and Young Adults With Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis Beyond the Time of Expected Growth Plate Closure

In this retrospective observational longitudinal cohort study with 3007 patients with IBD from the ImproveCareNow Network, the authors found a high rate of continued linear growth after expected growth plate closure (15 years in females, 17 years in males).

Key findings:

  • 80% manifested continued growth beyond the time of expected growth plate closure, more commonly in CD (81%) than UC (75%; P = 0.0002)
  • Median height gain was greater in males with CD (1.6 cm) than in males with UC (1.3 cm; P = 0.0004), and in females with CD (1.8 cm) than in females with UC (1.5 cm; P = 0.025)

My take: This study provides additional information about delayed skeletal maturation in the pediatric population with inflammatory bowel disease. Interestingly, the rate of continued growth with ulcerative colitis was nearly as high as with Crohn’s disease.

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Adalimumab Can Reverse Growth Failure in Pediatric Crohn’s Disease

In an industry-sponsored study (TD Walters et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2017; 23: 967-75), adalimumab (ADA) was shown to be effective agent in reversing growth failure associated with pediatric Crohn’s disease (CD).

Background:  About one-third of children and adolescents with CD suffer from growth failure and delayed puberty.  Several prior studies have shown that anti-TNF therapy can improve height velocity and that early treatment with anti-TNF therapy (≤3 months after diagnosis) leads to greater improvement in height obtained, if initiated before puberty or early into puberty. This study examines the effectiveness of ADA in children from the IMAgINE 1 trial.

The authors identified 73 participants with growth delays (& adequate data) along with 27 participants with no growth delays.

Key findings:

  • ADA therapy significantly improved and normalized growth rates at 26 and 52 weeks in patients with baseline linear growth impairment.
  • At week 26, height velocity z-score was 1.33 among 23 children in remission compared with -0.78 (n=29) among “nonremitters”
  • At week 52, height velocity z-score was 2.17 among 27 children in remission compared with -1.57 (n=17) among “nonremitters”

My take: In moderate to severe CD, anti-TNF agents have been demonstrated to reverse growth failure; though, this is expected to occur only in patients with clinical response. To my knowledge, no other CD medical therapies have been proven to reverse growth failure (surgical treatment can improve growth as well).

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Quiet Spot on U Chicago Campus

Nutrition Symposium Georgia AAP (Part 3)

Along with Kylia Crane, I presented the final lecture at this year’s Georgia AAP Nutrition Symposium: Optimizing Nutrition and Formula Selection in Toddler’s and Children.  Kylia is a nutritionist and dietician at the Georgia AAP who works on a multitude of projects to enhance nutrition for pediatric patients across the state.  This lecture was intended as a practical review of feeding problems and poor growth.

After a brief discussion of some basic feeding principles, the lecture focused on specific case presentations and then reviewed formula selection.  At the end, I quickly mentioned some of the big nutrition stories for 2015. The entire talk will be available at the Nutrition4Kids website.

Here are some of the slides:

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Additional resources that I discussed:

—Ellyn Satter:

  • —“Child of Mine”
  • —“The Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family”

—Laura Jana/Jennifer Shu:

  • —“Food Fights”

In the lecture, I credited some of the material to Dr. Praveen Goday who shared his slides from a previous lecture.  In addition, I am grateful to Dr. Seth Marcus who provided input into the lecture content.

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Minimizing malnutrition in Biliary Atresia

A retrospective study in Liver Transplantation reviews a single center experience with the use of parenteral nutrition (PN) in patients with end-stage liver disease due to biliary atresia (Liver Transpl 2012; 18: 121-129).  In this study which spanned the past twenty years, 25 PN BA patients were compared to 22 non-PN BA patients –all patients were younger than 36 months.  PN was started when maximal enteral nutrition failed to improve markers of malnutrition (triceps skinfold thickness, & mid-arm circumference).  Among the PN BA patients, there was a higher gastrointestinal bleeding rate and ascites; however, there was no difference in the rates of bacteremia, length of intensive care unit stay after liver transplantation, or patient/graft survival.  The authors speculate that the outcome for the PN BA patients would have been much worse without the PN as malnourished BA patients are at increased risk for graft failure and post-transplant complications.  It is noteworthy that PN patients did have progression of their liver disease that seemed to accelerate with the administration of PN, perhaps due to PN-associated cholestasis.  Specific changes included higher bilirubin levels, lower platelet counts, worsened coagulopathy, and higher calculated PELD scores.

Additional References:

  • Hepatology 2007; 46: 1632-38.  Growth failure and outcomes in infants with BA.
  • J Pediatr 2005; 147: 180-85.  Outcomes of 755 BA patients listed for liver transplantation.