What is the primary cause of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?

Updated: Oct 17, 2017
  • Author: William A Rowe, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

No mechanism has been implicated as the primary cause, but many are postulated. The lymphocyte population in persons with IBD is polyclonal, making the search for a single precipitating cause difficult. In any case, an inappropriate activation of the immune system leads to continued inflammation of the intestinal tract, with both an acute (neutrophilic) and chronic (lymphocytic, histiocytic) inflammatory response.


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