Biomarkers Discovered for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
06 Jun 2013
A number of biomarkers have been identified for inflammatory bowel disease, which could help with earlier diagnosis and intervention in those who have not yet shown symptoms.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of inflammatory conditions of the colon and small intestine and the main types of IBD are Crohn''s disease and ulcerative colitis. These bowel diseases are considered autoimmune diseases in which the patient’s own immune system attacks elements of the digestive system.
Gastroenterologists at the Division of Digestive Diseases at the University of Cincinnati (OH, USA) used the US Department of Defense Serum Repository (DoDSR; Silver Spring, MD, USA), to identify all of the active duty service men and women who developed IBD and then used the repository to go back and look at various biomarkers to see what each person had in common.
In this study, the scientists used the repository to identify 50 cases of Crohn''s disease and 50 cases of ulcerative colitis. They analyzed proteins from three samples per case, with two taken before and one after diagnosis and then processed the results using a statistical analysis format. Certain proteins were found in elevated levels in samples from patients who developed IBD.
Bruce Yacyshyn, MD, the lead investigator, said, “The selection of proteins we chose to analyze was based on a prior study conducted at the University of Cincinnati. Although the presence of proteins in those who develop Crohn''s disease varies from those present in ulcerative colitis patients, we were able to show that there were elevated levels of certain proteins in patients who developed IBD. Future large validation studies are needed to confirm the presence of biomarkers to guide in diagnosis, prevention, and management of these patients. This could change the way we currently screen for and treat IBD, which could improve prevention strategies, patient outcomes, and their overall quality of life.” The study was presented by staff from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (Bethesda, MD, USA) at the Digestive Disease Week 2013, held May 18–21, 2013 in Orlando (FL, USA; ).