Diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease: Potential role of molecular biometrics

World J Gastrointest Surg. 2014 Nov 27;6(11):208-19. doi: 10.4240/wjgs.v6.i11.208.


Accurate diagnosis of predominantly colonic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is not possible in 30% of patients. For decades, scientists have worked to find a solution to improve diagnostic accuracy for IBD, encompassing Crohn's colitis and ulcerative colitis. Evaluating protein patterns in surgical pathology colectomy specimens of colonic mucosal and submucosal compartments, individually, has potential for diagnostic medicine by identifying integrally independent, phenotype-specific cellular and molecular characteristics. Mass spectrometry (MS) and imaging (I) MS are analytical technologies that directly measure molecular species in clinical specimens, contributing to the in-depth understanding of biological molecules. The biometric-system complexity and functional diversity is well suited to proteomic and diagnostic studies. The direct analysis of cells and tissues by Matrix-Assisted-Laser Desorption/Ionization (MALDI) MS/IMS has relevant medical diagnostic potential. MALDI-MS/IMS detection generates molecular signatures obtained from specific cell types within tissue sections. Herein discussed is a perspective on the use of MALDI-MS/IMS and bioinformatics technologies for detection of molecular-biometric patterns and identification of differentiating proteins. I also discuss a perspective on the global challenge of transferring technologies to clinical laboratories dealing with IBD issues. The significance of serologic-immunometric advances is also discussed.

Keywords: Advances and challenges; Diagnosis; Immunometrics; Inflammatory bowel disease; MALDI-MS/IMS; Molecular biometrics.

Publication types

  • Review