Serological studies in inflammatory bowel disease: how important are they?

Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2014 Jul;30(4):359-64. doi: 10.1097/MOG.0000000000000076.


Purpose of review: Serum antibodies have the potential role to assist in the diagnosis, disease stratification and prognostication of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Understanding antibody formation might provide insight into the dysregulated immunological response to the gut microbiota in IBD. This review summarizes recent evidence regarding the role of serology in IBD.

Recent findings: There is accumulating evidence from cross-sectional and longitudinal studies and from recent meta-analyses that supports the value of serological markers in identifying patients with complicated disease phenotype and increased risk of surgery in patients with Crohn's disease. Anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibody remains the most accurate single marker, and recently identified exocrine pancreas antibodies (GP2 and CUZD1) have been suggested as evidence for a role of antibodies in the pathogenesis of Crohn's disease.

Summary: Despite these various developments, the use of the serum antibodies remains complementary in clinical practice. New markers are being currently evaluated that may reflect events relevant to the pathogenesis of IBD.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / immunology*
  • Crohn Disease / immunology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • GPI-Linked Proteins / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / immunology*
  • Microbiota / immunology*
  • Phenotype
  • Prognosis


  • Autoantibodies
  • Biomarkers
  • CUZD1 protein, human
  • GP2 protein, human
  • GPI-Linked Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins