Fast Five Quiz: Signs and Symptoms of Crohn Disease

Jaime Shalkow, MD


January 12, 2022

Chronic intestinal inflammation is diagnostic of Crohn disease, but when only the colon is inflamed, it becomes difficult to distinguish Crohn disease from ulcerative colitis. Signs that point to Crohn disease are sparing of the rectum, stool without gross blood, discontinuous involvement with skip areas, deep/linear/serpiginous ulcers of the colon, strictures, fistulas, and/or granulomatous inflammation. Weight loss, perineal disease, fistulas, and obstruction are common in Crohn disease and uncommon in ulcerative colitis. Rectal bleeding is observed much more frequently in ulcerative colitis.

Although the diagnosis of Crohn disease is largely clinical, laboratory testing is a complementary method in evaluating disease severity and identifying complications.

Learn more about the presentation of Crohn disease.


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