Crohn's - A Background of Crohn's Disease

Crohn's Disease Overview of Crohn's Disease Treatments

The purpose of this website is to provide unbiased medical information for Crohn's Disease. Click on these links if you are interested in the background or pathophysiology of Crohn's Disease. Below are both classic and modern treatments for Crohn's Disease.

Background of Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is an idiopathic, chronic inflammatory process of the digestive tract, belonging, with ulcerative colitis, to the inflammatory bowel disease family. It is a patchy, transmural illness that can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the anus. However, in most cases it is localized at the terminal ileum, the colon, and/or the perianal region.

Often the inflammatory patches are surrounded by healthy tissue, and can spread deeper into the tissues.


Macroscopically, hyperemia, edema and ulcerations characterize the involved mucosa. The ulcerations can become deep and serpiginous, located transversely and longitudinally over an inflamed mucosa, giving the mucosa a cobblestone appearance. Segments of affected mucosa alternates with healthy areas (skip lesions).

Microscopically there are focal inflammatory infiltrates around the crypts and ulcerations of superficial mucosa. These organize into noncaseating granulomas.

Unlike Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis is limited to the mucosa and submucosa of the large intestine or rectum. Most commonly the disease begins distally and extends proximally. The affected segment of intestine is continuous.

Characterized by Periods of Flare up and Remissions

Clinically, both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are an alternation of remission, asymptomatic phases, and of acute relapses (active disease phases). The relapses are characterized by general and intestinal disabling symptoms (abdominal pain and cramping, fatigue, weight loss, fever, diarrhea, gastrointestinal bleeding, recurrent subocclusive episodes, complete obstruction requiring surgery, etc.), resulting in alteration of quality of life and/or repeated hospitalization.


Crohn's disease may lead to one or more of the following complications:

Back to all Crohn's disease treatment options