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Distinguishing orofacial granulomatosis from crohn's disease: two separate disease entities?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Helen Campbell, Michael Escudier, Pritash Patel, Carlo Nunes, Timothy R Elliott, Kate Barnard, Penelope Shirlaw, Timothy Poate, Richard Cook, Peter Milligan, Jonathan Brostoff, Alexander Mentzer, Miranda C E Lomer, Stephen J Challacombe, Jeremy D Sanderson

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2109-2115
Number of pages7
JournalInflammatory Bowel Diseases
Issue number10
Early online date6 Jan 2011
E-pub ahead of print6 Jan 2011
PublishedOct 2011

King's Authors


Orofacial granulomatosis (OFG) is a rare chronic inflammatory disease of unknown etiology sharing histological features with Crohn's disease (CD). This study aimed to 1) define the clinical presentation of OFG, 2) establish differentiating features for those with CD, 3) examine if onset of OFG is predictive of CD, and 4) establish differentiating features for children.

Data were extracted from medical notes (n = 207) for demographics, clinical features, blood parameters, diagnosis of CD, and treatment's for patients with OFG.

Ninety-seven patients (47%) were female. The lips (184/203; 91%) and buccal mucosa (151/203; 74%) were mainly affected. Forty-six (22%) had intestinal CD. Ulcers (24/46; 46% versus 29/159; 15%, P = <0.001) were more common in patients with CD as was a raised C-reactive protein (24/33; 73% versus 60/122; 49%, P = 0.016) and abnormal full blood count (19/41; 46% versus 35/150; 23%). The buccal-sulcus (12/44; 27% versus 20/158; 13%, P = 0.019) was more often affected in those with CD. Half the patients with CD were diagnosed prior to onset of OFG. The remainder were diagnosed after. The incidence of CD is similar for children (16/69; 23%) and adults (29/132; 22%), although oral onset in childhood is more likely to occur prior to diagnosis of CD.

OFG mainly presents in young adults with lip and buccal involvement. Abnormalities in inflammatory markers, hematology and oral features of ulceration, and buccal-sulcal involvement are factors more commonly associated with CD. Initial presentation of OFG does not necessarily predict development of CD, although this is more likely in childhood. (Inflamm Bowel Dis 2011;)

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