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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2016, Article ID 7403129, 8 pages
Clinical Study

Characteristics of Pediatric Crohn’s Disease in Saudi Children: A Multicenter National Study

1Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research Group, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80205, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
2Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric IBD Research Group, Prince Abdullah Bin Khalid Celiac Disease Research Chair, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2925, Riyadh 11461, Saudi Arabia
3Department of Gastroenterology, Al-Mofarreh Polyclinic, P.O. Box 9789, Riyadh 11423, Saudi Arabia
4Department of Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, P.O. Box 3354, Riyadh 11211, Saudi Arabia
5Department of Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology, Dhahran Health Center, Saudi Aramco Medical Services Organization, P.O. Box 5000, Dhahran 31311, Saudi Arabia
6Department of Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology, King Abdulaziz Medical City, National Guard Health Affairs, P.O. Box 8202, Jeddah 21482, Saudi Arabia
7Division of Gastroenterology, King Fahad Medical City, Children’s Hospital, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, P.O. Box 59046, Riyadh 11525, Saudi Arabia

Received 19 August 2015; Revised 14 October 2015; Accepted 2 November 2015

Academic Editor: Andrew S. Day

Copyright © 2016 Omar I. Saadah 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.


Background and Aims. Crohn’s disease (CD) is an evolving disease in KSA. Little is known about its characteristics in the Saudi population. The aims of this study were to describe the characteristics of Saudi children with CD and to determine whether the characteristics of CD in KSA are different from those seen in Western countries. Methods. In this study, children younger than eighteen years of age diagnosed with CD between January 2003 and December 2012 were included. Results. Of 330 patients identified, 186 (56.4%) were males. The median age at diagnosis was 15.8 years. A positive family history for IBD in first-degree relatives occurred in 13.6% of patients. The most common symptoms were abdominal pain (84.2%), weight loss (75.2%), and diarrhea (71.8%). The main disease location was ileocolonic (42.1%) and the main disease behavior was nonstricturing and nonpenetrating (63.6%). Perianal involvement was seen in 60 (18.2%) patients. Laboratory findings revealed anemia in 57.9% of patients, low albumin in 34.5%, and high CRP in 39.4%. Conclusions. Saudi children with CD have lower frequency of first-degree relatives with IBD, lower prevalence of early onset disease, longer diagnostic delay, higher prevalence of growth failure, and greater frequency of stricturing and penetrating disease behavior compared to Western patients.