Background: The finding of a mucosal granuloma on histological analysis of endoscopically obtained biopsies in children with Crohn’s disease has been suggested to provide prognostic information. The aim of this study was to retrospectively assess the rate of granuloma detection and the impact of this upon specific disease characteristics and outcomes in children diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. After identification of a group of children previously diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, chart reviews were undertaken to characterise the children as granuloma positive or negative. Disease characteristics at diagnosis (such as disease location and nutritional status) and following diagnosis (such as requirement for immunosuppressive medications and surgical intervention) were noted for each patient. Results: Ninety-four children from two distinct geographical areas were identified. Forty-nine (52.1%) of the children had mucosal granulomata. Children with colonic disease were likely to have granulomata detected (RR = 3.04; p
< 0.001). Granulomata were associated with lower weight z-scores at diagnosis (p
< 0.05), but not other disease features (e.g., perianal disease or extra-intestinal manifestations). The presence of a granuloma at diagnosis was also associated with increased rates of the subsequent requirement for an immunosuppressive medication (RR = 1.26; p
= 0.002). The presence of granulomata on histological assessment of mucosal biopsies at diagnosis of children with Crohn’s disease appears to be associated with specific disease features and outcomes. These findings should be clarified prospectively in a larger cohort of children with Crohn’s disease.
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