Crohn’s disease is one of the two commonly seen inflammatory bowel diseases. As opposed to ulcerative colitis, which only directly affects the colon and rectum, Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the intestinal tract. It can also involve the full thickness of the bowel wall, which accounts for many of the complications seen with the disease. Surgery is not curative but is reserved for the treatment of complications that are refractory to medical management. The etiology is unknown but it is increasingly clear that most patients have a genetic predisposition, though what purported environmental triggers are involved is less clear. Medical therapy has improved significantly, especially with the development of infliximab and adalimumab, but the prevalence of the disease is increasing, more patients are being identified at a younger age, and many still develop complications that require surgical intervention.
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