Serum anti-glycan antibodies predict complicated Crohn's disease behavior: a cohort study

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2010 Aug;16(8):1367-75. doi: 10.1002/ibd.21179.


Background: A high proportion of patients with Crohn's disease (CD) over time develop complications like fistulae and strictures, requiring surgery. We tested a panel of antiglycan antibodies for predicting the occurrence of complications and CD-related surgery in an adult patient cohort.

Methods: Serum samples of 149 CD patients of the German inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) network were tested for the presence of anti-laminarin IgA (Anti-L), anti-chitin IgA (Anti-C), anti-chitobioside IgA (ACCA), anti-laminaribioside IgG (ALCA), anti-mannobioside IgG (AMCA), and anti-Saccaromyces cerevisiae IgG (gASCA) carbohydrate antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) (IBDX(R) panel, Glycominds, Lod, Israel) in a blinded fashion. Clinical data were available on occurrence of complicated disease or CD-related surgery as well as disease activity, onset, and location.

Results: The median follow-up of the patients without any previous complication or surgery at time of sample procurement was 53.7 months. Overall, 26.3% developed a complication and 17.1% underwent CD-related surgery, respectively. Positivity for gASCA, AMCA, ACCA, and Anti-L alone or an increasing frequency of positive serum antibodies independently predicted a faster progression toward a more severe disease course. Once a complication or surgery had occurred only positivity for Anti-L or more than 3 markers out of the whole panel indicated progression to an additional surgery or complication. The antibody status of most patients remained stable over time.

Conclusions: This is the first study showing the clinical value of serum antiglycan antibodies for prediction of a more complicated disease course in adult patients with CD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies / blood*
  • Chitin / immunology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Crohn Disease / blood
  • Crohn Disease / complications*
  • Crohn Disease / immunology*
  • Crohn Disease / surgery
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glucans
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polysaccharides / immunology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies


  • Antibodies
  • Glucans
  • Polysaccharides
  • Chitin
  • laminaran