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Gastroenterology. 2002 Apr;122(4):854-66.

The molecular classification of the clinical manifestations of Crohn's disease.

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Gastroenterology Unit, University of Oxford, Gibson Laboratories, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Erratum in

  • Gastroenterology. 2003 Jul;125(1):281.



Crohn's disease is a common inflammatory disorder of the gut characterized by variation in both location and behavior. Chromosome 16 and the HLA region on chromosome 6 have been implicated in susceptibility to disease. Mutations in the NOD2/CARD15 gene, recently identified on chromosome 16, have been associated with disease overall but are found in only 25% of patients. No data regarding their contribution to specific disease subtypes exist. Here we report a detailed genotype-phenotype analysis of 244 accurately characterized patients.


A total of 244 white patients with Crohn's disease recruited from a single center in the United Kingdom were studied. All patients were rigorously phenotyped and followed-up for a median time of 16 years. By using linkage disequilibrium mapping we studied 340 polymorphisms in 24 HLA genes and 3 NOD2/CARD15 polymorphisms.


We show that NOD2/CARD15 mutations determine ileal disease only. We confirm that alleles on specific long-range HLA haplotypes determine overall susceptibility and describe novel genetic associations with susceptibility, location, and behavior of Crohn's disease.


The clinical pattern of Crohn's disease may be defined by specific genotypes. This study may provide the basis for a future molecular classification of disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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