Introduction: The incidence of early-onset CD in Scotland is among the highest worldwide. Three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) R702W, G908R and Leu1007finsC in the NOD2/CARD15 gene predispose to adult CD. We investigated the contribution of these variants to disease susceptibility and phenotype in the Scottish early-onset IBD population.
Patients and methods: 906 individuals including 247 Scottish IBD patients aged <16 years at diagnosis, 414 parents and 245 controls were genotyped. Transmission disequilibrium testing (TDT), case-control analysis and detailed genotype-phenotype analysis were performed.
Results: The Leu1007finsC variant was associated with susceptibility to CD by case-control (4.2% versus. 1.4%, P = 0.01) and TDT analysis (P = 0.006). The Population Attributable Risk (PAR) for the 3 NOD2/CARD15 mutations was 7.9%. Carriage of NOD2/CARD15 variants was associated with, at diagnosis: decreased albumin (31.0% versus. 9.0%, P = 0.001) and raised CRP (25% versus. 9.5%, P = 0.04) and at follow up: need for surgery (39.5% versus. 12.8%, P = 0.0002) jejunal involvement (50% versus. 18.4%, P = 0.01) jejunal and ileal involvement (50% versus. 10.7%, P = 0.009), raised CRP (57.1% and 12.8%, P = 0.0009), lower weight/height centile (75.0% versus. 20.2%, P = 0.03, 50.0% versus. 16.0%, P = 0.001 respectively) and stricturing disease (45.5% versus. 19.4%, P < 0.05). Multifactorial analysis demonstrated carriage was associated with need for surgery (P = 0.004, OR 4.9 [1.5-14.7]).
Conclusions: These NOD2/CARD 15 variants in the Scottish early onset CD population have a definite, albeit relatively small contribution to CD susceptibility (PAR 7.9%) but a major impact on phenotype. In particular NOD2/CARD15 variants are strongly associated with several markers of disease severity in pediatric CD, notably need for surgery.