For children, inflammatory bowel disease consists of ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.  The etiology of these disorders remains unclear.  In the majority of cases, differentiation between the two can be made clinically, radiographically and pathologically.  Although both conditions can be treated medically for relief of symptoms, only ulcerative colitis can be cured surgically by total proctocolectomy.  Crohn’s disease on the other hand may be palliated by surgical therapy if medical therapy fails.


Ulcerative Colitis-Ulcerative colitis is primarily a disease of the rectal and colonic mucosa.  The rectum is involved in 95% of cases and inflammation extends proximally in a contiguous manner.  As the disease progresses, the colon distends, peristalsis decreases and the muscularis becomes thin and hemorrhagic.

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