Erica Brenner, MD, on Pediatric IBD Care in the Age of COVID-19

In this video, Dr Brenner discusses her presentation at the Crohn's & Colitis Congress on what data indicate about the risks and disease course of pediatric patients with inflammatory bowel disease during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Erica Brenner, MD, is a pediatric gastroenterology fellow at the University of North Carolina and one of the founders of the SECURE-IBD registry.



Hi, I'm Erica Brenner. I'm a pediatric gastroenterology fellow at the University of North Carolina. I'm honored to have presented at the Crohn's & Colitis Congress and I'm going to talk to you a little bit about what I presented. I provided an update on COVID-19 and pediatric IBD, and overall, the results from the studies I've been involved with are very reassuring.

We have found that children with IBD who developed COVID-19 generally have a mild disease course with a favorable evolution. Out of 209 children we studied, ages 18 years of age or younger, 14, or 7%, were hospitalized, and 2, or 1%, required mechanical ventilation. This hospitalization rate is substantially lower than the 19% we've seen in the population as a whole in the SECURE-IBD database, and that includes adult patients.

Factors associated with hospitalization include comorbid conditions, moderate or severe inflammatory bowel disease, GI symptoms, steroid use, and use of sulfasalazine or mesalamine. In contrast, TNF-antagonist monotherapy was associated with a decreased likelihood of hospitalization.

As in the general pediatric population, children with IBD who contract COVID-19 rarely develop severe illness, and this includes multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C. In general, it is safe for children with IBD to continue their medication during the pandemic. Corticosteroids can be used to treat relapses, but they should be weaned as quickly as possible. 

Thank you for listening, and I hope you find the Congress helpful.