Introduction

O Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) encompasses both Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). Both disorders are associated with inflammation of various regions within the GI tract. Differences exist between UC and CD with regard to the regions of the GI tract that may be affected as well as in the distribution and depth of inflammation. Some patients with IBD may also have inflammation involving organs other than the GI tract, known as extraintestinal manifestations. Symptoms of IBD are associated with significant morbidity, reduction in quality of life, and substantial costs to the health care system. For purposes of this chapter, references made to IBD will include both UC and CD. Significant differences between UC and CD will be discussed separately when applicable.

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