Background: Enteral nutritional therapy (EN) is an effective modality for inducing and maintaining remission in pediatric patients with Crohn’s disease (CD). The standard protocol for EN provides patients with 100% of their caloric needs for induction of remission. The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of delivering 80% to 90% of patient’s caloric needs through EN, to induce remission in pediatric patients with CD. This approach allows patients to consume remaining calories from a normal diet.
Methods: A retrospective review of charts from 1998 to 2010 was conducted at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Remission (Pediatric Crohn’s Disease Activity Index <10) and response (decrease in Pediatric Crohn’s Disease Activity Index score of ≥12.5 points) were calculated before and after treatment with EN. Weight z scores and laboratory parameters were evaluated in all participants.
Results: Forty-three charts were evaluated. Mean age of participants was 12.8 years (5.1–17.4), 67% were male and 33% female patients. Remission and response were evaluated in a group of 23 participants, with no missing data. There were reductions in erythrocyte sedimentation rate (P < 0.0001) and C-reactive protein (P < 0.02), and increases in albumin (P < 0.03). Mean Pediatric Crohn’s Disease Activity Index score at baseline was 26.9 and was reduced to a score of 10.2 at follow-up (P < 0.0001). Induction of remission was achieved in 65% and response in 87% at a mean follow-up of 2 months (1–4 months).
Conclusions: This novel EN protocol seems to be effective for the induction of remission in pediatric patients with CD and contributes to increasing weight and improving laboratory markers. This protocol may result in improved EN acceptance and compliance and will be evaluated prospectively.