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QJM. 1999 Nov;92(11):651-8.

Titres of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies in inflammatory bowel disease are not related to disease activity.

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Departments of Clinical Immunology and Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Hospital Groningen, and Department of Gastroenterology, Sophia Hospital Zwolle, The Netherlands.


In the systemic vasculitides, serial measurement of titres of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies (ANCA) is useful for follow-up of disease activity and prediction of relapses. ANCA have been detected in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, but their relation to disease activity in these diseases is unclear. We analysed the relation between disease activity and ANCA titres as determined by indirect immunofluorescence in paired samples obtained during active disease and at remission from individual patients with ulcerative colitis (n=60) and Crohn's disease (n=101). In addition, patients were followed prospectively, to study the fluctuations of ANCA with time in relation to disease activity. We did not detect a correlation between disease activity and ANCA titres, either in paired samples from active disease and remission, or in serial samples, either in ulcerative colitis or in Crohn's disease. In contrast to the ANCA-associated systemic vasculitides, serial measurement of ANCA titres is not useful in the monitoring of disease activity in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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