Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center | Very Early Onset IBD Treatment

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Contact the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center

  • 1-617-355-6058
  • International: +01-617-355-5209

The Boston Children’s IBD Center is one of the most authoritative programs in the world on Very Early Onset IBD, also called VEO-IBD.

The center’s director, Scott Snapper, MD, is also a founding member and principal investigator for the international VEO-IBD Consortium, a global network of pediatric gastroenterologists and scientists working to unravel the molecular basis for VEO-IBD and develop better treatments.

What is Very Early Onset IBD (VEO-IBD)?

Infants and young children (typically under 6) with VEO-IBD do not respond to typical treatments for IBD, often showing resistance to standard medical therapy. They require targeted treatment from a team with real experience working with infants and children with this condition.

What you need to know about VEO-IBD:

  • Very Early Onset IBD is a rare but very serious disease.
  • It is different than Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
  • It affects children under 6 years old with severe, debilitating symptoms.
  • A subset of this disease called Infantile IBD affects children under age 2. Children diagnosed in this age group comprise less than 1 percent of all IBD patients.
  • Research shows that the incidence of IBD in this age group is changing the greatest – a key reason why our researchers feel it is so important to understand better.
  • Because VEO-IBD can be linked to genetic mutations, developing treatments for it can lead to new therapies for IBD in children and adults.

Treating Very Early Onset IBD at Boston Children’s

Treating VEO-IBD or infantile IBD depends on the specific underlying genetic mutation, which can be easily determined with a blood test.

Scientists around the world are actively studying treatment options for these children, such as ways to use stem cell transplantation.

In other cases, the following treatment options have proven effective:

  • Surgery: In infants and children with mutations in the interleukin 10 receptor (IL-10R), bone-marrow or stem-cell transplantation has proven to be curative therapy
  • Antibiotics: Children with a mutation in the NCF2 gene respond well to antibiotics
  • Abatacept (medication): Children with mutations in the LRBA gene experience improved symptoms after using this medication more commonly used to treat autoimmune diseases for its ability to interfere with T cells

Very Early Onset IBD Research

The Boston Children’s IBD Center is involved in pioneering research to discover the cause and a cure for VEO-IBD. In children under 6, VEO-IBD and infantile IBD tend to be associated with key gene mutations researchers have already identified.

Patients who undergo treatment at Boston Children’s have access to the latest clinical trials and work with a team of specialists ahead of the latest advancements in understanding and curing this disease.

Read more about IBD research.

Make an Appointment

For more information, appointments or a second opinion, please call the Boston Children’s IBD Center at 617-355-6058 or request an appointment online.

Boston Children’s is so much more than a hospital—it’s a community of researchers, clinicians, administrators, support staff, innovators, teachers, patients and families, all working together to make the impossible possible. ”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
For Patients: 617-355-6000
For Referring Providers: 844-BCH-PEDS | 844-224-7337