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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 26-32

Upper Gastrointestinal Tract Crohn's Disease

Hugh J Freeman1,2

1Department of Medicine (Gastroenterology), University Hospital, Canada
2University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Received 19 June 1989; Accepted 19 September 1989

Copyright © 1990 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


Crohn's disease may involve any site within the gastrointestinal tract. Usually pathology is present in the ileum and/or colon, but atypical presentations may occur with apparently 'isolated' involvement of the oropharynx, esophagus or gastroduodenum. If changes typical of Crohn's disease are detected in the upper gastrointestinal tract, then a careful assessment is required involving radiographic, endoscopic and histologic studies to determine if pathology is present in more distal intestine. In addition , microbiologic studies may be important to exclude infectious causes, especially of granulomas. If these studies are negative, prolonged follow-up may be required to establish a diagnosis of Crohn's disease. Although upper gastrointestinal involvement is increasingly recognized as a significant cause of morbidity in Crohn's disease, the treatment options are limited , largely anecdotal and need to be the subject of detailed epidemiologic investigation and clinical trials.