Endoscopic evaluation is mandatory in establishing the diagnosis of pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but unfortunately carries a high burden on patients. Volatile organic compounds (VOC) have been proposed as alternative, noninvasive diagnostic biomarkers for IBD. The current study aimed to assess and compare the potential of fecal and urinary VOC as diagnostic biomarkers for pediatric IBD in an intention-to-diagnose cohort. In this cohort study, patients aged 4-17 years, referred to the outpatient clinic of a tertiary referral center under suspicion of IBD, were eligible to participate. The diagnosis was established by endoscopic and histopathologic assessment, participants who did not meet the criteria of IBD were allocated to the control group. Participants were instructed to concurrently collect a fecal and urinary sample prior to bowel lavage. Samples were analyzed by means of gas chromatography-ion mobility spectrometry. In total, five ulcerative colitis patients, five Crohn's disease patients, and ten age and gender matched controls were included. A significant difference was demonstrated for both fecal (p-value, area under the curve; 0.038, 0.73) and urinary (0.028, 0.78) VOC profiles between IBD and controls. Analysis of both fecal and urinary VOC behold equal potential as noninvasive biomarkers for pediatric IBD diagnosis.
Keywords: biomarkers; gas chromatography-ion mobility spectrometry; inflammatory bowel disease.