chapter  23
8 Pages

Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis Introduction

A search for the microbes responsible for Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) has continued for approximately 60 years, and methods to find the answers are now on the drawing board.

An excellent description of CD was given by Mitchell and Parent. 3 l The chronic inflammation may involve any part of the gastrointestinal tract from esophagus to anus. The inflammation is often discontinuous, with diseased segments separated by apparently healthy tissue. Ulcers may perforate the wall resulting in leakage of intestinal content into the vagina or adjacent bowel. Also, noncaseating granulomas are noted histologically with associated regional and mesenteric lymph nodes . These findings suggest that CD is due to infections by mycobacteria or fungi . Surgical removal of diseased bowel is often required (Figure 23-1 ) .