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Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Feb;22(2):144-50. doi: 10.1097/MEG.0b013e32832f5c7e.

Anticarbohydrate antibodies as markers of inflammatory bowel disease in a Central European cohort.

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  • 1Institute of Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Diagnostics, General University Hospital and First Faculty of Medicine of Charles University, Budapest, Hungary.



The study discusses the role of antichitobioside carbohydrate antibody (ACCA), antilaminaribioside carbohydrate antibodies (ALCA), and antimannobioside carbohydrate antibodies (AMCA) in Central European patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).


Twohundred and seventy-two serum samples were used - 116 Crohn's disease (CD), 84 ulcerative colitis, and 72 healthy control samples. All samples were evaluated using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the following four anticarbohydrate assays: ACCA, ALCA, AMCA, and anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies (gASCA).


gASCA antibodies showed the highest sensitivity (67%) for a CD diagnosis, followed by AMCA (31%), ACCA (27%), and ALCA (25%). Positivity of at least one of the four assays increased the overall sensitivity of antibody testing in CD up to 85.5%. Mean serum gASCA levels were significantly higher in CD patients who were younger at diagnosis and had a longer disease duration before blood sampling (P<0.001). In nonstricturing, nonpenetrating CD, serum gASCA levels were lower than in patients with stricturing and/or penetrating behavior (P<0.05). The strongest association of gASCA was found with ileocolonic CD and with upper gastrointestinal disease (P<0.001). No association between anticarbohydrate (AMCA, ACCA, and ALCA) antibodies and CD location, behavior, age at onset, and disease duration was found; however, that sample size of some of our subgroups was probably too small to make firm conclusions on associations with all CD phenotypes. None of the assessed anticarbohydrate assays was predictive of colonic CD in patients in whom the distinction between CD and ulcerative colitis is not obvious using routine diagnostic methods. There was no relationship between the presence or concentration of anticarbohydrate antibodies and the inflammation measured by C-reactive protein levels.


The use of a panel of anticarbohydrate antibodies may provide additional help in distinguishing IBD from non-IBD disease patterns. The addition of AMCA, ALCA, and ACCA assays as IBD serology markers improves the overall sensitivity of immunological examinations in IBD; however, anticarbohydrate assays are not helpful for predicting CD behavior.

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