Pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition

Pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition

The main focus is on common gastrointestinal diseases in childhood, and how improved nutrition can be used and also how nutritional factors may impact on disease development.

Aim and strategy

Some of the most common diseases that we encounter in the clinical setting are inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease and eosinophilic esophagitis. These three conditions are consequently at the center of our research interest. Nutrition is highly important in all these three diseases, and research on intestinal function failure is the last important part of our research activity.

The third wave of the IBSEN-study (Inflammatory Bowel disease in South-Eastern Norway) recruited during 2017-19, and pediatric data from this study were collected by our group together with other nearby hospitals. A PhD-student is currently using this database in epidemiological research, but also exploring nationwide data from registries on risk factors for IBD. A second PhD-student in IBD research is utilizing the Mother- and Child cohort study (MoBa) exploring questionnaire data and perinatal biomarkers that are associated with later IBD.

Research on celiac disease leverages on biobanks and register data from the two large cohort studies MoBa and MIDIA. We are collaborating with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH/FHI) and a large EU-funded project (HEDIMED) to explore factors in the wider environment. One research student and two postdocs (from Finland/Sweden) are working in these projects.

A high number of endoscopic examinations forms the basis for a general biobank in pediatric gastroenterology. We are now prospectively collecting data in eosinophilic esophagitis, with the overall aim of identifying novel non-invasive disease markers. In substudies in IBD and celiac disease we also access biobanked samples from newly diagnosed patients to identify novel faecal biomarkers of disease. 

OUS serves a regional function for children and adolescents with intestinal failure. This is a relatively small group of patients with a high disease burden and risk for nutritional failure. In an intervention study we study how a prebiotic intervention may improve the quality of life, change the microbiota and prevent small intestine bacterial overgrowth.


Ongoing projects

  • Improved quality of life in children with intestinal failure
  • A diagnostic biobank in pediatric gastroenterology focusing on non-invasive disease markers in celiac disease, eosinophilic esophagitis and inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Epidemiological studies on inflammatory bowel disease, exploring disease-specific clinical cohorts (IBSEN III), and nationwide cohort studies (MoBa, register studies) and collaborating with cohort studies in Sweden and Denmark (PreventIBD).
  • Celiac disease epidemiology and exposomic determinants, collaborating with the National Institute of Public Health and the HEDIMED-consortium in a EU-funded study.
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