IBD Resources for Professionals

About IBD

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) describes either of two related but clinically and histologically distinct diseases. Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disorder characterized by transmural granulomatous inflammation involving any part of the gastrointestinal tract, from mouth to anus, in a discontinuous fashion. Ulcerative colitis does not exhibit well-defined granulomatous lesions. It is characterized by crypt abscesses and ulcerations extending down to the muscularis and surrounded by prominent mucosal infiltrate of inflammatory cells.

The prevalence of Crohn's disease in the United States has been estimated at 24 to 40 cases per 100,000 population, and the incidence appears to be increasing, particularly in Western Europe and North America. The underlying cause of the disease is unknown. Predisposing genetic factors appear to interact with possible exogenous triggers that may result in a spontaneously relapsing and remitting inflammatory process in which tissue injury is perpetuated by an autoimmune response.

The standard therapy for IBD includes aminosalicylates, such as Asacol and Pentasa, immunomodulatory agents like 6-mercaptopurine and Azathioprine and corticosteroids. It is important to note that these therapies are limited in their effectiveness and can have a wide variety of unwanted side effects.

When patients with inflammatory bowel disease develop complications or are not responding to medications, surgical treatment is considered to relieve symptoms and achieve conditions that will improve the patient’s health and growth. If you’d like a consultation about proceeding with surgical intervention for a patient with IBD, gastroenterologists and pediatric surgeons from CHOP are available to help.

IBS and IBD: Symptoms, Workup and when to Refer to a GI Specialist

In this article, GI specialists at CHOP, in collaboration with a CHOP pediatrician, offer advice on what to look for when assessing patients with diarrhea and abdominal pain, what lab tests to order when the symptoms warrant, and when to make a referral to a specialist.


Inflammatory Bowel Disease Publications

The Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at CHOP has an active research program that studies the entire IBD disease continuum.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research

The IBD Center has conducted many research projects to understand inflammatory bowel disease, advance current treatments, improve quality of life, develop new therapies and find a cure for IBD.

Very Early Onset IBD

Through advanced new technology, whole exome sequencing, we are studying the genetic pathways responsible for VEO-IBD.


The Advanced Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Fellowship is a two-year specialized training program offering unparalleled clinical depth and rigor, as well as opportunities for cutting-edge translational and basic science research. Learn more.

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Videos and podcasts

Bowel Sounds: The Pediatric GI Podcast

In this episode of Bowel Sounds, hosts Drs. Temara Hajjat and Peter Lu talk to Dr. Judith Kelsen about the presentation, evaluation, and management of children with very early onset inflammatory bowel disease (VEO-IBD).

Life Uncommon

Life Uncommon is a 10-minute video about children and adolescents suffering from IBD and the professionals who care for them at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

In this podcast, pediatric gastroenterologist Betsy Maxwell, MD, MS, talks about the theories as to why IBD is on the rise in children, including an overlap between genetic factors, the immune system, the microbiome, and environmental triggers.

Nutrition, Microbiome and the Bowel: A Podcast

Dr. Albenberg also offers high-quality dietary information, a look at how COVID-19 has affected people with bowel disorders, and other helpful take-home pointers.