A diagnosis of idiopathic ulcerative colitis was made in a previously healthy 9-year-old boy. Symptoms persisted despite therapy with sulfasalazine, 50 mg/kg daily, but they eventually responded to treatment with parenteral nutrition and prednisone, 40 mg daily. Metronidazole was also given to eradicate persistent Dientamoeba fragilis from the stools. The symptoms resolved over 3 weeks, and the daily dose of prednisone was tapered. On two subsequent occasions a challenge with sulfasalazine caused an immediate recurrence of loose, blood-streaked stools and of nonspecific histologic features of ulcerative colitis, which resolved when the sulfasalazine was discontinued.