Reversal of Growth Arrest in Adolescents with Crohn's Disease After Parenteral Alimentation

Academic Article


  • Growth arrest and delayed onset of puberty often complicate childhood onset Crohn's disease of the small bowel (granulomatous enteritis). Nutritional deficits arising from inadequate dietary intake, malabsorption, and increased caloric needs may contribute to growth retardation. To assess whether a sustained high caloric and nitrogen intake could reestablish growth, 4 children with extensive Crohn's disease of the small bowel were studied before and after parenteral alimentation which was instituted for symtomatic disease control. Weight gain, positive nitrogen balance, and improved nutritional status were achieved during parenteral alimentation in each patient. In 2 patients weight gain was sustained using oral nutritional supplements, and a substantial increase in linear skeletal growth continued in the ensuing months. One patient entered puberty within 4 months of parenteral alimentation and another had the onset of menarche and the development of secondary sex characteristics 4 months after parenteral alimentation and resection of diseased bowel. Growth may be reestablished in some growth-arrested children if intake is sufficient to establish a sustained positive caloric and nitrogen balance. Nutritional requirements imposed by the demands of growth and active disease and often compounded by the catabolic effects of corticosteroids may be excessive; growth may occur only if these needs are met orally and/or parenterally. © 1976, The Williams & Wilkins Company. All rights reserved.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Layden T; Rosenberg J; Nemchausky B; Elson C; Rosenberg I
  • Start Page

  • 1017
  • End Page

  • 1021
  • Volume

  • 70
  • Issue

  • 6