The Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition provides all care through the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO).

Since 2001, the division has grown to the current five-member division, offering a range of clinical care, research and educational activities for undergraduate and postgraduate medical trainees. 

Undergraduate and postgraduate medical trainees are involved in both outpatient and inpatient clinical care during their rotations in pediatric gastroenterology. Exposure to specialized procedures including gastrointestinal endoscopy, pH/Impedance studies and breath hydrogen testing also occurs during their rotation. 

Our research projects cover clinical, health services and basic science research with collaborators both locally at the University of Ottawa as well as throughout Canada and around the world.

Clinical programs

Undergraduate and postgraduate medical trainees are able to participate in in-depth learning by attending Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition clinics. The specialized clinics within the division give medical trainees exposure to unique focal areas of clinical care and research.   

Inpatient care

Inpatient Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition is a consulting service and also provides direct inpatient care working with residents and medical students assigned to individual units.

Outpatient care

The division members see approximately 80 to 100 patients per week in several half-day clinics - about 3,500 patient visits per year. Clinics include:

  • Post-liver transplant - sees patients following their liver transplantation
  • Eosionophilic Esophagitis - follows over 200 patients with this specific esophageal disorder
  • Cystic Fibrosis –every second Wednesday in a combined clinic with respirology
  • Follow-up of patients with repaired tracheoesophageal fistula. This will occur either in the general chest clinic or in collaboration in the gastroenterology clinic

Clinical problems and diseases evaluated and followed

Clinical visits comprise the full spectrum of pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutritional diseases. These include children with:

  • Luminal mucosal disease of all ages manifested as malabsorption, inflammation or dysfunction
  • Exocrine pancreatic disease
  • Recurrent pancreatitis and foregut disorders
  • Diseases related to the small intestinal tract and colon
  • Diseases related to the liver
  • Disease related to pancreas

There are a number of liver diseases and disorders evaluated and followed, including those with cholestatic problems such as biliary tract disorders and those children with viral and other causes of hepatitis and children with primary or secondary cause for nutrition disorders.

Laboratory and diagnostic programs

  • Diagnostic and therapeutic upper endoscopy and colonoscopy - flexible endoscopies are performed by the division on all ages from premature infants to adolescents. Approximately 1,000 endoscopies are performed per year.
  • Breath hydrogen testing - outpatient testing using this technique is performed for dietary carbohydrate malabsorption on 350 per children per year, aged five years and older
  • pH/impedance testing - evaluations for acid and non-acid reflux are performed in both the outpatient and inpatient setting
  • Capsule endoscopy - to visualize small intestinal lesions associated with tumors or bleeding. This type of endoscopic evaluation is performed on an outpatient basis. 


Medical students and pediatric residents have the opportunity to work with the various members of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition on a range of research projects. 

Gastrointestinal and liver conditions and diseases affect many individuals. For instance, Celiac disease, Eosinophilic esophagitis and Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) are increasing among Canadian children and youth. Canada has amongst the highest rates of IBD in the world with the rate in children increasing by 50 per cent over the past 20 years. 

These facts are the driving force behind what motivates our research. Current studies include multi-centre, multi-investigator as well as CHEO-driven research endeavours, funded through a number of sources. These sources include: Genome Canada partnered with the Ontario government and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the CHILD Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, CIHR, American College of Gastroenterology, 3C Foundation, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, Janssen, Pediatric Liver Foundation and local donors such as parents, local businesses and the Snowflake Ball. 

Our growing collaborations include those with researchers from basic science departments at the University of Ottawa, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) as well as national and international colleagues. All are important to us to enhance our commitment to expansion of research and care in Ottawa.

Specific areas of research include, but are not limited to:

  • Adrenal axis monitoring in patients with eosinophilic esophagitis
  • Studies of Ontario's health administrative database
  • Cystic Fibrosis in infants and children
  • Pediatric liver disease-related research


Training programs

Undergraduate training opportunities 

Medical undergraduate trainees spend a focused two-week rotation in Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. They are given close supervision and teaching with the gastroenterologists in the outpatient clinic setting. Given the diversity of clinics available in this division, along with the exposure to procedures during this rotation, the trainee receives a comprehensive overview of this subspecialty. 

Postgraduate training program

Currently, there is no pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition fellowship program. 

Additional postgraduate training

Our postgraduate focus is with training the pediatric residents and ensuring a solid foundation of knowledge in this subspecialty area that will be a valuable resource for them as they enter general pediatric practice. 

Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition currently has no subspecialty training program. Members of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition do, however, provide postgraduate training to interested trainees as an integral part of general pediatric residency training. 

In addition, one to two division members usually contribute to pediatric grand rounds each year on specific areas within Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition that are worth reviewing in depth to a more general audience.