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Guidelines launched on the management of children with IBD

The first UK guidelines on the care of children and adolescents with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) - ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD) - are to be launched this month by the British Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (BSPGHAN).

With 25% of IBD cases presenting under the age of 18 years, the new BSPGHAN IBD guidelines will be a valuable resource for clinicians and allied professionals caring for children with IBD and an important step towards more consistent clinical care.

The Chair of the BSPGHAN IBD Working Group, Dr Sally Mitton, Consultant Paediatric Gastroenterologist at St George's University London explains, “The guidelines address a clear need to standardise the care of children with these potentially devastating diseases. Firstly, we recommend that the maximum dose of prednisolone should not exceed 40 mg stat. We know that some units are using 60 mg with no additional clinical benefit.

"Secondly, all paediatric gastroenterology units should participate in the biennial UK IBD audit. Questions from the audit on adult patients with IBD are to be included in the annual healthcare check that all NHS trusts have to complete from 2009 and BSPGHAN would like to see data about paediatric patients included.  

"Thirdly, we are recommending that all patients with IBD should be entered into randomized clinical trials to establish best clinical management. We have already received excellent feedback on the paediatric guidelines and are keen to see them being implemented rapidly across all UK gastroenterology and medical units.”

Dr Huw Jenkins, President of BSPGHAN and Consultant Paediatric Gastroenterologist at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, started the process of developing the new guidelines with Dr Mitton and fellow guidelines authors, Professor BK Sandhu, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children; Dr JME Fell, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London and Dr RM Beattie, Southampton General Hospital, to address the fact that UC and CD are complex disorders with wide variations in current clinical practice.