Rapid and noninvasive metabonomic characterization of inflammatory bowel disease

J Proteome Res. 2007 Feb;6(2):546-51. doi: 10.1021/pr060470d.


Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) including Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) have a major impact on the health of individuals and populations. Accurate diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) at an early stage, and correct differentiation between Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), is important for optimum treatment and prognosis. We present here the first characterization of fecal extracts obtained from patients with CD and UC by employing a noninvasive metabonomics approach, which combines high resolution 1H NMR spectroscopy and multivariate pattern recognition techniques. The fecal extracts of both CD and UC patients were characterized by reduced levels of butyrate, acetate, methylamine, and trimethylamine in comparison with a control population, suggesting changes in the gut microbial community. Also, elevated quantities of amino acids were present in the feces from both disease groups, implying malabsorption caused by the inflammatory disease or an element of protein losing enteropathy. Metabolic differences in fecal profiles were more marked in the CD group in comparison with the control group, indicating that the inflammation caused by CD is more extensive in comparison with UC and involves the whole intestine. Furthermore, glycerol resonances were a dominant feature of fecal spectra from patients with CD but were present in much lower intensity in the control and UC groups. This work illustrates the potential of metabonomics to generate novel noninvasive diagnostics for gastrointestinal diseases and may further our understanding of disease mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / diagnosis
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / metabolism*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Male
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results