Half of New Cases of Childhood IBD Have Not Received Endoscopy

Dawn O'Shea

August 06, 2020

More than 50% of new cases of childhood inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have not had an endoscopy as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, reports a study published in Archives of Disease in Childhood.

The study gathered data from 20 tertiary paediatric IBD centres across the UK for the month of April 2020. Two centres had retained routine endoscopy during the lockdown, with three unable to perform even urgent IBD endoscopy.

A total of 122 patients were diagnosed with IBD. Of these, 53.3% (n=65) were presumed diagnoses and had not undergone endoscopy with histological confirmation.

The most common induction was exclusive enteral nutrition (44.6%). No patients with a presumed rather than confirmed diagnosis were started on anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF) therapy. No biologics/immunomodulators were stopped.

Most IBD follow-up appointments were able to occur using phone/webcam or face to face.

All centres were able to continue IBD surgery if required, with 14 procedures occurring across seven centres.

These data provide the first insight into the secondary effect of COVID-19 on paediatric patients presenting with a new diagnosis of suspected IBD and on patients with an established diagnosis of IBD.

"We must now ensure that resourcing for patients with IBD is adequate in the recovery phase," the authors say.

Ashton JJ, Kammermeier J, Spray C, et al. Impact of COVID-19 on diagnosis and management of paediatric inflammatory bowel disease during lockdown: a UK nationwide study. Arch Dis Child. 2020 Jul 30 [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2020-319751. Abstract

This clinical summary first appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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