Negligible Effect of Eosinophilic Esophagitis Treatment on Longitudinal Growth

Briefly noted: ET Jensen et al. JPGN 2019; 68: 50-5. This retrospective study with 409 patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) examined longitudinal growth over 12 months.  “In general, treatment approach was not associated with any significant increase or decrease in expected growth.” In a subset of patients with combined elemental diet and topical steroids (n=13), there was a subtle decrease in linear growth with a change in height z-score of -0.04, CI -0.08 to  -0.01. Interestingly, in these patients with EoE, the baseline height z-scores were lower than expected indicating that a subset may have impaired growth prior to treatment.

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pictures from Zabriskie Point at sunrise, Death Valley


February Briefs

JM Powers et al. J Pediatr 2017; 180: 212-6. This retrospective study details a protocol for using intravenous ferric carboxymaltose (FCM) (Injectafer) in children.  This product has become available for adults in U.S. since June 2013; it had been available in Europe since 2009. In this retrospective study, 72 pediatric patients received FCM for iron deficiency anemia (off-label); there was a good safety profile and a good response with hemoglobin increasing from 9.1 to 12.3 (4-12 weeks post infusion).  FCM is a relatively costly IV iron formulation, but can be given over 15 minutes.

L Peyrin-Biroulet et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2017; 15: 25-36.  This systemic review with more than 2800 patients showed that TNF antagonists were effective for extraintestinal manifestations of inflammatory bowel disease, including cutaneous disorders (eg.. pyoderma gangrenosum, erythema nodosum), hematologic problems (eg anemia), ocular disorders, and rheumatologic symptoms( eg. arthralgias/arthritis).

AE Mikolajczyk et alClin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2017; 15: 17-24. Useful review of the GI/Liver manifestations of autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease. “There is not a role for therapy [for the liver] in asymptomatic patients.” Other problems reviewed included pancreatic cysts, hernias, and diverticular disease. Related posts:

T Rajalahti et al. JPGN 2017; 64: e1-6.  Among 455 patients <18 with Celiac disease, anemia was noted in 18%. This resolved in 92% after one year of a gluten-free diet.  Anemia is associated with more severe histological and serological presentation. Related posts:

FL Cameron et al. JPGN 2017; 64: 47-55. This retrospective review of 93 children treated with infliximab and 28 children with adalimumab provides data on growth after anti-TNF therapy.  This study shows that anti-TNF therapy is more likely to be associated with growth improvement when used at earlier stages of puberty.

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Chattahoochee River

Chattahoochee River

Parenteral Nutrition and False Positive Newborn Screens, Plus One

Briefly noted:

“Stopping Parenteral Nutrition for 3 Hours Reduces False Positives in Newborn Screening” T Tim-Aroon et al. J Pediatr 2015; 167: 312-6. By stopping parenteral nutrition (PN), the authors reduced false-positive results for amino acid disorders among newborn screenings. In patients receiving PN, holding PN (and using IVFs) was associated with a false-positive rate of 2/65 compared with 29/245 who continued PN (3.1% vs. 11.8%; P=.037)

“Age at Weaning and Infant Growth: Primary Analysis and Systemic Review” B Vail et al. J Pediatr 2015; 167: 317-24. UK prospective study with n=571 singletons along with systemic review which identified two trials. Conclusion: “In high-income countries, weaning between 3 and 6 months appears to have a neutral effect on infant growth.  Inverse associations are likely related to reverse causality.”



Generation R Study: Insights into the Effects of Anti-Tissue Transglutaminase Antibody Positivity

In a study from Rotterdam (Jansen MAE, et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2015; 13: 913-20), the authors show that positivity for anti-tissue transglutaminase IgA antibodies (TTG) is associated with lower growth trajectories and bone mineral density.

This was a population-based prospective cohort study which examined children born from 2002-2006 (median age 6 years).  4249 children with TTG <7 U/mL were compared with 57 children with TTG >7 U/mL.  The authors specifically looked at those >70 U/mL as well. Children with a previous diagnosis of celiac disease were excluded.

Key findings:

  • Positive TTG serology was associated with reduced weight gain 0.05 standard deviation score (SDS) per year and less linear growth 0.02 SDS/year.
  • Children with positive TTG were shorter 0.29 SDS and weighed less 0.38 SDS.
  • Children with positive TTG had lower bone mineral density (BMD) 0.26 SDS less.
  • Children with positive TTG did not have increased gastrointestinal symptoms compared with control children.

The authors note that the majority of these effects (poor growth, shortness, lower BMD) were mostly present in children with TTG >10 times upper limit of normal.

Bottomline: Subclinical or potential celiac disease is associated with reduced growth and bone mineral density.

Briefly noted:  Emilsson L, et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2015; 13: 921-27.  Using a Norwegian cohort study with 95,200 women and 114,500 children (199-2008), the authors showed that development of celiac disease was associated with maternal celiac disease and type 1 diabetes.  There was no significant association noted with intrauterine growth, or mode of delivery.

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Disclaimer: These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications/diets (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician/nutritionist.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition.

Cumberland Island

Cumberland Island


Growth after Liver Transplantation

A retrospective chart review of patients from Australia and Japan who underwent liver transplantation between 1985-2004 provides some insight into the growth potential after liver transplantation (J Pediatr 2013; 163: 537-42).  The study included height data from 98 patients and weight data from 104 patients.

Study characteristics:

  • 58% were Australian and 42% were Japanese
  • 76 of 98 patients were transplanted for biliary atresia
  • 47% were younger than 2 years at the time of transplantation
  • Measurements were recorded pre-transplant, 1, 5, 10 and 15 years later


  • Height recovery continued for at least 10 years to reach the 26th percentile (Z-score -0.67) 15 years after transplant.  Australian patients had better height recovery, reaching the 47th percentile (Z-score -0.06).
  • Weight recovery was most pronounced in 1st year after transplantation but also continued for 15 years.
  • The median height, weight, and BMI Z-scores are listed in Table II for all time periods
  • Those most malnourished and growth impaired at transplant exhibited the most catchup but remained significantly shorter and smaller 15 years later.

While the Australian patients had better growth in this study, this may be attributable to the fact that nearly all the Japanese in this study were transplanted before 1996 whereas Australian patients were transplanted over the entire period of the study.  Improvements in post-operative management with improved immunosuppressive treatment regimens (eg. reduced steroids) may have played a role.

Take-home message:  Most pediatric liver transplantation patients can expect to be normal-sized adults.  Those who are very malnourished at the time of transplantation, though, are likely to have some reduction in growth potential.

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