Diagnostics of inflammatory bowel disease

Gastroenterology. 2007 Nov;133(5):1670-89. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2007.09.001.


The diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) with its 2 main subforms, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, is based on clinical, endoscopic, radiologic, and histologic criteria. This paradigm remains unchanged despite the advent of new molecular technologies for the examination of serum proteins and genetic sequences, respectively. The main innovations in diagnostic technologies include the development of more sophisticated endoscopic and noninvasive imaging techniques with the aim of improving the identification of complications, in particular malignant diseases associated with IBD. The future will see further progress in the identification of genetic susceptibility factors and of protein biomarkers and their use to describe the molecular epidemiology of IBD. It can be expected that future diagnostic algorithms will include molecular parameters to detect early disease or guide therapies by predicting the individual course of disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / diagnosis
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / genetics
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / metabolism
  • Colon / metabolism
  • Colon / pathology*
  • Crohn Disease / diagnosis
  • Crohn Disease / genetics
  • Crohn Disease / metabolism
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / genetics
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / metabolism


  • Biomarkers