Using a steroid-sparing tool in paediatric inflammatory bowel disease to evaluate steroid use and dependency

Rachel E. Harris, Wei Sim, Harry Sutton, Vikki Garrick, Lee Curtis, Lisa Gervais, Victoria Merrick, Andrew R. Barclay, Diana M. Flynn, Rachel Tayler, Richard Hansen, Richard K. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The aim of the study was to evaluate the use of steroids within the paediatric inflammatory bowel disease (PIBD) population at a tertiary paediatric centre over a year; to identify cases of steroid dependency; and assess factors associated with steroid excess. 

Methods: The prevalent PIBD population (May 1, 2017-April 30, 2018) were reviewed. Data were collected retrospectively from patient records and entered into an online steroid assessment tool (modified for paediatrics). 

Results: A total of 229 patients (181 Crohn disease, 31 ulcerative colitis [UC], and 17 inflammatory bowel disease-unclassified) were included. Of the 229 patients 38 (16.6%) received oral steroids; 12 of 38 (31.6%) receiving >3-month course. Eleven of 38 (28.9%) received >1 steroid course (maximum 2). Of the 229 patients 37 (16.2%) had exclusive enteral nutrition, with 26 of 37 (11.4% total cohort) avoiding steroid use during the study period. Quiescent disease activity had a negative correlation with steroid use (11/127 [8.7%] vs 27/102 [26.5%] P < 0.01), and steroid dependency (3/127 [2.4%] vs 12/102 [11.8%] P < 0.01). Patients with UC were more likely to be steroid dependent (5/31 [16.1%] UC vs 10/198 [5.1%]; P = 0.02); as were network-managed patients (8/11 [72.7%] vs 7/27 [25.9%]; P = 0.01). Fourteen of 15 (93.3%) of steroid-dependent patients had active steroid sparing strategies in place (eg, commencement, switching, or optimization of therapies). 

Conclusions: We have described rates of steroid use and dependency within our PIBD population. Exclusive enteral nutrition served as a steroid sparing tool in 11.4% of the total cohort. Replication of this study in other paediatric centres would allow comparative analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-563
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • corticosteroids
  • Crohn disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • paediatric gastroenterology
  • ulcerative colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Gastroenterology


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