Advances during the past year have provided new perspectives on the pathogenesis and management of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Complex interactions of intestinal microflora, genetic predisposition, the epithelial barrier, and the mucosal immune system contribute to the onset and perpetuation of mucosal inflammation in inflammatory bower disease. New insights into the pathogenesis of these diseases have been gained through clinical trials, studies of genetic animal models, and statistically based human genetics. A variety of research approaches continue to reframe the important questions in inflammatory bowel disease in novel, unanticipated ways.
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