Etiologic Concepts of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: Past, Present, and Future

  • Joseph B. Kirsner


Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease represent a group of inflammatory and ulcerative disorders of the large and small intestine of unknown etiology and pathogenesis (1). They occur chiefly in developed countries (United States, Europe), affecting people of all ages, males and females approximately equally, and principally younger individuals. The common symptoms of ulcerative colitis are early constipation, rectal bleeding and urgency, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and weight loss. Laboratory data include iron deficiency anemia, lowered serum proteins, and the absence of conventional bacterial pathogens in the stool. The typical clinical manifestations of Crohn’s disease are cramping lower abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, anorexia, and weight loss. The laboratory data include normal or elevated leukocyte counts; increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate; iron, B12, or folate deficiency; lowered serum proteins; and other indications of undernutrition. Their course is acute and chronic with remissions and exacerbations, intestinal and systemic complications, and variable responses to medical and surgical treatment.


Ulcerative Colitis Chronic Ulcerative Colitis Tive Colitis Tory Bowel Disease Cerative Colitis 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

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  • Joseph B. Kirsner

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