1Avishay Lahad, Batia Weiss, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Unit, Edmond and Lily Safra Children's Hospital, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer 52661, Israel.
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis, are chronic relapsing and remitting diseases of the bowel, with an unknown etiology and appear to involve interaction between genetic susceptibility, environmental factors and the immune system. Although our knowledge and understanding of the pathogenesis and causes of IBD have improved significantly, the incidence in the pediatric population is still rising. In the last decade more drugs and treatment option have become available including 5-aminosalicylate, antibiotics, corticosteroids, immunomodulators and biological agents. Before the use of anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α became available to patients with IBD, the risk for surgery within five years of diagnosis was very high, however, with anti-TNF-α treatment the risk of surgery has decreased significantly. In the pediatric population a remission in disease can be achieved by exclusive enteral nutrition. Exclusive enteral nutrition also has an important role in the improvement of nutritional status and maintained growth. In this review we summarize the current therapeutic treatments in CD. The progress in the treatment options and the development of new drugs has led to optimized tactics for achieving the primary clinical goals of therapy - induction and maintenance of remission while improving the patient's growth and overall well-being.