Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 61, Issue 2, pp 389–399 | Cite as

Analysis of Hospital-Based Emergency Department Visits for Inflammatory Bowel Disease in the USA

  • Mahesh Gajendran
  • Chandraprakash Umapathy
  • Priyadarshini Loganathan
  • Jana G. Hashash
  • Ioannis E. Koutroubakis
  • David G. Binion
Original Article



Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic, debilitating condition with high emergency department (ED) utilization. We aimed to investigate the utilization patterns of ED by IBD patients and measure hospitalization and surgical rates following ED visits.


We conducted a cross-sectional study of adults with IBD listed as the primary ED diagnosis from the 2009 to 2011 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample. The characteristics of the IBD-related ED visits in relation to following hospitalizations and surgeries were analyzed.


Adult IBD patients constitute 0.09 % of the total ED visits. Crohn’s disease (CD) contributed to 69 % of the IBD-ED visits. The hospitalization rate from ED was 59.9 % nationally, ranging from 56 % in west to 69 % in northeast. The most significant factors associated with hospitalization were intra-abdominal abscess [odds ratio (OR) 24.22], bowel obstruction (OR 17.77), anemia (OR 7.54), malnutrition (OR 6.29), hypovolemia/electrolyte abnormalities (OR 5.57), and fever/abnormal white cell count (OR 3.18). Patients with CD (OR 0.66), low-income group (OR 0.90), and female gender (OR 0.87) have a lower odds of getting hospitalized. Age above 65 years (OR 1.63), CD (OR 1.89), bowel obstruction (OR 9.24), and intra-abdominal abscess (OR 18.41) were significantly associated with surgical intervention.


The IBD-related ED visits have remained relatively stable from 2009 to 2011. The presence of anemia, malnutrition, hypovolemia, electrolyte abnormalities, fever, abnormal white cell count, bowel obstruction, or intra-abdominal abscess during the ED visit was associated with hospitalization. The presence of bowel obstruction and intra-abdominal abscess was strongly associated with surgical intervention.


Crohn’s disease Ulcerative colitis Emergency department Hospitalization Regional variations 



Inflammatory bowel disease


Crohn’s disease


Ulcerative colitis


Emergency department



Ioannis E. Koutroubakis was supported by a sabbatical salary of Medical Faculty University of Crete Greece. David G. Binion was supported by a Grant W81XWH-11-2-0133 from the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.

Guarantor of the article

David G. Binion.

Author contributions

Mahesh Gajendran contributed to study concept and design, acquisition of data, statistical analysis and interpretation of data, and drafting of the manuscript. Chandraprakash Umapathy contributed to study concept and design, statistical analysis and interpretation of data, figures, and drafting of the manuscript. Priyadarshini Loganathan contributed to study concept and design, statistical analysis and interpretation of data, and drafting of the manuscript. Jana G. Hashash, Ioannis E. Koutroubakis, and David G. Binion critically revised the manuscript for important intellectual content.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest


Supplementary material

10620_2015_3895_MOESM1_ESM.docx (24 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 23 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mahesh Gajendran
    • 1
  • Chandraprakash Umapathy
    • 1
  • Priyadarshini Loganathan
    • 2
  • Jana G. Hashash
    • 2
  • Ioannis E. Koutroubakis
    • 2
    • 3
  • David G. Binion
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of General Internal MedicineUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Department of GastroenterologyUniversity Hospital HeraklionCreteGreece

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