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Increased incidence of inflammatory bowel disease after Hirschsprung disease: a population-based cohort study

Bernstein CN, Kuenzig ME, Coward S, Nugent Z, Nasr A, El Matary W, Singh H, Kaplan GG, Benchimol EI. J Pediatr. 2021; 233:98-104.e2. Epub 2021 Feb 1. DOI:

Objective — To determine the frequency with which inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is diagnosed in persons with Hirschsprung disease (HD) in population-based datasets from 3 Canadian provinces.

Study Design — In study I, Ontario data were used to assess the incidence of IBD in a birth cohort of children with Hirschsprung disease relative to children without Hirschsprung disease. In study II, a case-control design was used in Alberta and Manitoba to determine the frequency of previously diagnosed Hirschsprung disease in persons with IBD, compared with the frequency of Hirschsprung disease in matched controls. Validated algorithms for Hirschsprung disease and IBD were applied to each provincial health registry.

Results — In study I, of the 716 children diagnosed with Hirschsprung disease in Ontario since 1991, 18 (2.5%) ultimately developed IBD (168.8 per 100 000 person-years), compared with 7109 of 3 377 394 children without Hirschsprung disease (0.2%, 14.2 per 100 000 person-years). The percentage of males with post-Hirschsprung disease IBD was 77.8%. The incidence rate ratio was 11.9 (95% CI, 7.5-18.8). In study II, the OR of having had Hirschsprung disease before a diagnosis of IBD compared with controls was 74.9 (95% CI, 17.1-328.7) in Alberta and 23.8 (95% CI, 4.6-123) in Manitoba. Crohn's disease was more common after Hirschsprung disease than ulcerative colitis.

Conclusions — IBD can emerge in more than 2% of patients with Hirschsprung disease and, like Hirschsprung disease itself, is more common in males. IBD is much more common after a diagnosis of Hirschsprung disease than in the general population.