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Monitoring growth and pubertal development in children and young people with ulcerative colitis (UC)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

  • monitor the height and body weight of children and young people with ulcerative colitis against expected values on centile charts (and/or z scores) at the following intervals according to disease activity:
    • every 3-6 months:
      • if they have an inflammatory exacerbation and are approaching or undergoing puberty or
      • if there is chronic active disease or
      • if they are being treated with systemic corticosteroids every 6 months during pubertal growth if the disease is inactive every 12 months if none of the criteria above are met

  • monitor pubertal development in young people with ulcerative colitis using the principles of Tanner staging, by asking screening questions and/or carrying out a formal examination
    • consider referral to a secondary care paediatrician for pubertal assessment and investigation of the underlying cause if a young person with ulcerative colitis:
      • has slow pubertal progress or
      • has not developed pubertal features appropriate for their age
    • monitoring of growth and pubertal development:
      • can be done in a range of locations (for example, at routine appointments, acute admissions or urgent appointments in primary care, community services or secondary care)
      • should be carried out by appropriately trained healthcare professionals as part of the overall clinical assessment (including disease activity) to help inform the need for timely investigation, referral and/or interventions, particularly during pubertal growth
      • if the young person prefers self-assessment for monitoring pubertal development, this should be facilitated where possible and they should be instructed on how to do this


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