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, 95 (2), 359-67

Established and Emerging Biological Activity Markers of Inflammatory Bowel Disease


Established and Emerging Biological Activity Markers of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

O H Nielsen et al. Am J Gastroenterol.


Assessment of disease activity in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), i.e., ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD), is done using clinical parameters and various biological disease markers. Ideally, a disease marker must: be able to identify individuals at risk of a given disorder, be disease specific, mirror the disease activity and, finally, be easily applicable for routine clinical purposes. However, no such disease markers have yet been identified for IBD. In this article, classical disease markers including erythrocyte sedimentation rate, acute phase proteins (especially orosomucoid and CRP), leukocyte and platelet counts, albumin, neopterin, and beta2-microglobulin will be reviewed together with emerging disease markers such as antibodies of the ANCA/ASCA type, cytokines (e.g., IL-1, IL-2Ralpha, IL-6, IL-8, TNF-alpha, and TNF-alpha receptors) and with various adhesion molecules. It is concluded that none of the pertinent laboratory surrogate markers of disease activity in IBD are specific or sensitive enough to replace basic clinical observation such as the number of daily bowel movements, general well-being, and other parameters in parallel. Further studies are highly warranted to identify and assess the clinical importance and applicability of new laboratory markers for the diagnosis or the disease activity of IBD.

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