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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 197167, 12 pages
Review Article

The Role of Enteral Nutrition in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Current Aspects

1Inflammatory Bowel Disease Unit, IASO General Hospital, 264 Mesogeion Avenue, Holargos, 15562 Athens, Greece
21st Surgical Unit, Saint Panteleimon Hospital, D. Mantouvalou 3, 18454 Nicea, Greece
3Experimental-Research Center, ELPEN Pharmaceuticals, 95 Marathonos Avenue, Pikermi, 19009 Athens, Greece

Received 14 August 2014; Accepted 13 October 2014

Academic Editor: Demosthenes Bouros

Copyright © 2015 John K. Triantafillidis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Enteral nutrition (EN) is considered to be of great importance in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and nutritional problems. This comprehensive review is aiming to provide the reader with an update on the role of EN in IBD patients. EN can reduce Crohn’s disease (CD) activity and maintain remission in both adults and children. Nutritional support using liquid formulas should be considered for CD patients and in serious cases of ulcerative colitis (UC), especially for those who may require prolonged cycles of corticosteroids. Given that the ultimate goal in the treatment of CD is mucosal healing, this advantage of EN over corticosteroid treatment is valuable in therapeutic decision-making. EN is indicated in active CD, in cases of steroid intolerance, in patient’s refusal of steroids, in combination with steroids in undernourished individuals, and in patients with an inflammatory stenosis of the small intestine. No differences between the efficiency of elemental diets and nonelemental formulas have been noticed. EN must be the first choice compared to TPN. EN has a restricted value in the treatment of patients with large bowel CD. In conclusion, it seems important not to underestimate the role of nutrition as supportive care in patients with IBD.