Observations on the neglect of anal skin tags as an early marker of crohn’s disease in children

Publication Date


Journal Title

Pract Gastroenterol


© 2020, Shugar Publishing Inc.. All rights reserved. Anorectal skin tags (ASTs) are a common, asymptomatic, early manifestation of Crohn’s disease (CD). Usually CD has its onset in childhood (age 18 or younger). This paper aims to identify patients with Crohn’s disease and ASTs, to determine the age of onset of CD, and then estimate the years that ASTs had been present before establishing the diagnosis of CD. Methods From our database of over 3000 patients with inflammatory bowel disease, we identified 263 Crohn’s disease patients with obvious ASTs at first visit for CD, and 57 (21.6%) of these were in patients diagnosed with CD at age 18 or younger. Results In this group of 57 children, the median age at diagnosis of CD was 14 and the median number of years from the first awareness of ASTs was 6. Conclusions The high incidence of ASTs should encourage pediatricians, internists, family physicians and gastroenterologists to spread the buttocks and search for ASTs in children presenting with diarrhea, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain or growth failure. Accordingly, the diagnosis CD might be made so much earlier and effective medical therapy be initiated sooner.

Volume Number


Issue Number



12 - 17

Document Type





School of Medicine

Primary Department


For the public and Northwell Health campuses