MIRA research

The MAREEN Study

A metagenomic approach to diagnosis, induction and maintenance of deep remission following exclusive enteral nutrition in pediatric Crohn’s Disease.

Principal Investigator:
Anthony Otley, MD, MSc
Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Pediatrics
IWK Health Centre and Dalhousie University

Study funding: North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN)

Inclusion criteria:

  • Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease (CD)
  • Are about to begin exclusive enteral nutrition (EEN) therapy.

Purpose: Exclusive enteral nutrition (EEN) is a common treatment used to induce remission in children who have Crohn’s Disease (CD). EEN involves a liquid formula diet for up to 12 weeks while excluding food intake. Children may eventually experience a return of CD symptoms (also called a flare) after EEN, when they resume a regular diet. There is currently no way of telling who will flare and who will stay in remission.

In this study, we will examine the impact of EEN therapy on microbes that live in the intestine to determine whether flares or remission after EEN are linked to specific microbial changes. Through this research, we hope to better understand how EEN treatment works and develop new ways to optimize this therapy in pediatric CD patients.

About 40 children or adolescents who are diagnosed with CD and who are going to be treated with EEN therapy in the Gastroenterology (GI) Clinic at the IWK Health Centre will participate in the study.