Objective: To determine levels of soluble forms of the cell adhesion molecules (CAM), ICAM-1, E-Selectin and VCAM-1 in relation to prevalence, treatment and disease activity in inflammatory bowel disease.
Patients and methods: Plasma was obtained from patients with ulcerative colitis (n = 49), patients with ulcerative colitis who had undergone restorative proctocolectomy (n = 32, eight of whom had a clinical pouchitis), Crohn's disease patients (n = 34) and 24 healthy controls.
Results: Plasma soluble ICAM-1 levels [medians (ranges in ng/ml)] were significantly higher in patients with active ulcerative colitis [270 (90-510)], pouchitis [415 (310-670)] and active Crohn's disease [305 (200-630)] than in those with inactive ulcerative colitis [225 (140-425), P = 0.031], non-inflamed ileoanal pouch [260 (140-380), P = 0.0004] and inactive Crohn's disease [245 (90-520), P = 0.045], respectively, and controls. The soluble E-Selectin levels were also significantly higher in patients with active ulcerative colitis [55 (40-140)], pouchitis [90 (45-145)], and active Crohn's disease [78 (30-115)] than in those with inactive ulcerative colitis [45 (20-80, P = 0.003], non-inflamed ileoanal pouch [45 (20-90), P = 0.001] and inactive Crohn's disease [48 (25-90, P = 0.020], respectively, and controls.
Conclusions: The present study suggests that increased levels of soluble ICAM-1 and soluble E-Selectin occur during active inflammatory bowel disease and pouchitis, which may be used as sensitive markers of continuing inflammation.