Background/aims: Levels of S-PIIINP (serum aminoterminal propeptide of type III procollagen) have been shown to be increased in patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis and inflammatory bowel disease. The aim of the study was to investigate the serum concentrations of PIIINP and laminin in inflammatory bowel disease patients, their relationship with inflammatory bowel disease-associated hepatobiliary and pancreatic dysfunction, and to correlate them with clinical, endoscopic, and histologic variables.
Methodology: S-PIIINP and S-laminin were measured in 222 consecutive inflammatory bowel disease patients, who were screened for abnormal liver and pancreatic enzymes and for pancreatic exocrine hypofunction with the p-aminobenzoic acid test (215 patients). The patients with abnormal screening results were further scheduled for endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, liver biopsy, secretin test and ultrasound.
Results: S-PIIINP and S-laminin were abnormally high in 19% and 40% of all inflammatory bowel disease patients, respectively. The elevated levels of the fibrosis markers were associated with laboratory signs of either hepatobiliary or pancreatic disease. Hepatobiliary disease was found in 37 (17%) of inflammatory bowel disease patients, 15 of whom had primary sclerosing cholangitis. The median levels of S-PIIINP and S-laminin were significantly higher in patients with hepatobiliary disease than in those without (P < 0.0001 and P < 0.001, respectively), being most strikingly elevated in primary sclerosing cholangitis. Abnormal pancreatic screening tests were found in 67 (30%) patients. High levels of S-PIIINP and S-laminin were also significantly associated with low values in p-aminobenzoic acid (P < 0.001 and P < 0.005) and secretin (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05) tests, but not with inflammatory bowel disease category, endoscopic or histological disease extent, frequency of bowel resection or actual clinical activity.
Conclusions: In inflammatory bowel disease, increased S-PIIINP and S-laminin are associated with hepatobiliary and pancreatic disorders.