Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease

The Cedars-Sinai Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Program provides diagnosis and treatment services for infants, children, adolescents and young adults with intractable intestinal inflammation resulting from chronic conditions, such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

The Pediatric IBD Program is dedicated to healing children quickly. Children from all over the world visit the center for the diagnosis and treatment of chronic, sometimes life-threatening diseases. The program is designed for patient and family comfort and ensures parents that their child will receive high-quality, compassionate care. The Pediatric IBD Program uses a team approach consisting of physicians, nurses, researchers, nutritionists and social workers who focus on individualized medicine. The program has cared for over 1,000 children, adolescents and young adults with IBD.

Symptoms

IBD is different for each individual. Patients with IBD can present with a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Anemia
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Diarrhea
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pronounced pubertal delay
  • Growth delay
  • Perianal disease (fissures, infections or abscesses)
  • Unexplained joint swelling or skin rash

Diagnosis

Our experts are experienced in accurately identifying this frequently misdiagnosed disease. The causes of inflammatory bowel disease remain unknown, but they likely include a combination of genetic, immune and environmental factors.

The Pediatric IBD Program performs a complete medical history and physical examination as well as diagnostic procedures for ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, which may include:

  • Blood tests
  • Stool studies
  • Radiology studies
  • Upper gastrointestinal series
  • CAT scan (CT)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Endoscopy
  • Upper endoscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Video capsule endoscopy
Treatment

Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are lifelong chronic illnesses and patients can have symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Steroids have been a mainstay of treatment but can be riddled with side effects. The providers at the Pediatric IBD Program devise individualized treatment plans that minimize and negate the use of steroids. Cedars-Sinai employs a rapid "bench-to-bedside" approach, ensuring that patients referred to the program have access to the most advanced technologies and therapies. The ultimate goal is for patients to lead normal lives in spite of having a chronic illness. Management includes:

  • Drug therapies
  • Education
  • Nutritional and psychosocial counseling
  • Opportunities for participation research
  • Surgery

What to Expect on Your Visit

A welcome package will be sent to you at the time of scheduling your appointment. This will include directions to the program. Please complete the pre-visit questionnaire prior to your appointment date.

After registering and completing an initial intake, which will include height and weight measurements, anticipate being seen by each member of the team deemed appropriate. Each person will be asking questions designed to gather details related to their field of expertise.

Typically, the last person will be one of the expert doctors, who will spend time discussing their assessment and reviewing the individualized plan for the patient. The visit can take over two hours, as each team member will give you their undivided attention and make sure you understand all of the recommendations.

School Documentation Letters and Process

Reach out to our medical social worker, Amy Mann, at amy.mann@cshs.org. She will place it on our official letterhead with the physician signature and email back the final letter within five business days.

If you have not received your letter in the allotted time, contact 310-423-7100.

Please be aware the letter is not valid until it is sent back to you with the physician's electronic signature and has been noted in the patient's medical record.

Learn More About Research at the Pediatric IBD Program

The Pediatric IBD Program is on the forefront of research in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. This work has ranged from basic science laboratory work to drug trials. We currently have multiple ongoing studies focusing on defining the natural history of children with IBD, role of pharmacogenetics in management of IBD and the interplay of the immune system with bacteria in developing the disease.

The research in the program has been supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America as well as numerous generous individuals, foundations and companies.

Current IBD research opportunities at Cedars-Sinai include:

  • Natural history of disease
  • Genetic and immune influences on outcomes
  • Novel therapeutics
  • Predicting response to therapies
  • Bacteria/Immune Interaction

For more information or to ask a question about research studies, contact Yvette Gonzales, Research Support Assistant at 310-423-4072 or send her an email at yvettegonzales@cshs.org.

Pediatric IBD Fundraising Opportunities

Pediatric inflammatory bowel disease is on the rise. Help us take one step closer to the cure.

With your support, the researchers and clinical experts at the Cedars-Sinai Pediatric IBD Program will continue to unravel the genetic and immunological mysteries of this disease.

Join us in raising funds for this vital work providing state-of-the-art medical care for children with Crohn's and colitis and help us lead the field in discovery and turn research into reality.

For more information and ways to contribute, please contact Stephanie Bressler at 323-866-2860.

Pediatric IBD Team

Clinical Team
  • Physician
    Shervin Rabizadeh, MD, MBA - director, Pediatric Gastroenterology and Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • David Ziring, MD
  • Nurse Practitioner
    Morgan Check, MSN, CPNP
  • Nursing
    Sharmayne Farrior, BSN, RN, CPN
  • Nutrition
    Erin Feldman, RD, CSP
  • Clinical Social Work
    Amy Mann, LCSW
Research
  • Clinical Research Coordinator II
    Yogesh Arora, PhD
  • Clinical Research Associate II
    Yvette Gonzales
Administration
  • Administrative Supervisor
    Shonya Coleman
  • Management Assistant
    Erika Lopez