Crohn Disease and Ulcerative Colitis


Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis are inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract of unknown aetiology. They are chronic conditions characterized by intermittent remission and relapse.

Keywords: Crohn disease; ulcerative colitis; inflammatory bowel disease

Figure 1.

A submucosal granuloma in Crohn disease.

Figure 2.

The pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease is unknown, but evidence points to an interaction between host genetic factors and the environment. Ag, antigen; APC, antigen‐presenting cell; B, B cell; Th, helper T cell; Ts, suppressor T cell.

Figure 3.

Colectomy specimen showing ulcerative colitis extending from the rectum to the ascending colon. There is a sharp demarcation between affected and normal mucosa. UC, ulcerative colitis.


Further Reading

Allan RN, Rhodes JM, Hanauer SB et al. (eds) (1997) Inflammatory Bowel Disease. New York: Churchill Livingstone.

Fiocchi C (1998) Inflammatory bowel disease – etiology and pathogenesis. Gastroenterology 115: 182–205.

Jewell DP, Warren BF and Martensen N (eds) (2000) Challenges in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Oxford: Blackwell Science.

Lichenstein GR (ed.) (1999) Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Gastroenterology Clinics of North America, vol. 28, no. 2. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders.

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How to Cite close
Simmons, Jonathan, and Jewell, Derek(Apr 2001) Crohn Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0002308]