Crohn disease

Crohn's disease; Inflammatory bowel disease - Crohn's disease; Regional enteritis; Ileitis; Granulomatous ileocolitis; IBD - Crohn's disease

Crohn disease is a disease where parts of the digestive tract become inflamed.

  • It most often involves the lower end of the small intestine and the beginning of the large intestine.
  • It may also occur in any part of the digestive system from the mouth to the end of the rectum (anus).

Crohn disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Ulcerative colitis is a related condition.

Digestive system

The esophagus, stomach, large and small intestine, aided by the liver, gallbladder and pancreas convert the nutritive components of food into energy and break down the non-nutritive components into waste to be excreted.

Crohn disease, X-ray

This lower abdominal X-ray shows narrowing (stenosis) of the end of the small intestine (ileum), caused by Crohn disease. Crohn disease typically affects the small intestine, whereas ulcerative colitis typically affects the large intestine. A solution containing a dye (barium), was swallowed by the patient. When it passed into the small intestines, this X-ray was taken (lower GI series).

Inflammatory bowel disease

Crohn disease, also called regional enteritis, is a chronic inflammation of the intestines which is usually confined to the terminal portion of the small intestine, the ileum. Ulcerative colitis is a similar inflammation of the colon, or large intestine. These and other IBDs (inflammatory bowel disease) have been linked with an increased risk of colorectal cancer.

Anorectal fistulas

Crohn disease is an inflammation of the intestines caused by immune response to an infection. The lining of the intestine may ulcerate and form channels of infection, called fistulas. Fistulas tunnel from the area of ulceration, creating a hole which may continue until it reaches the surface of the organ, or the surface of nearby skin. These holes typically spread the infection that creates them, and life-threatening conditions such as peritonitis (inflammation of the lining of the abdomen) may occur.

Crohn disease - affected areas

The inflammation of Crohn disease is nearly always found in the ileocecal region. The ileocecal region consists of the last few inches of the small intestine (the ileum), which moves digesting food to the beginning portion of the large intestine (the cecum). However, Crohn disease can occur anywhere along the digestive tract.

Ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis is categorized according to location. Proctitis involves only the rectum. Proctosigmoiditis affects the rectum and sigmoid colon. Left-sided colitis encompasses the entire left side of the large intestine. Pancolitis inflames the entire colon.

Inflammatory bowel disease

The gastrointestinal tract starts at the mouth, which leads to the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, and finally, the rectum and anus. The GI tract is basically a long, hollow, muscular tube through which food passes and nutrients are absorbed.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Support Groups

Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional