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Digestion. 2005;72(2-3):119-23. Epub 2005 Sep 16.

Serum antibodies in first-degree relatives of patients with IBD: a marker of disease susceptibility? A follow-up pilot-study after 7 years.

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  • 1Chirurgische Klinik und Poliklinik-Innenstadt, München, Germany.



Various disease-specific serum antibodies were described in patients with inflammatory bowel disease and their yet healthy first-degree relatives. In the latter, serum antibodies are commonly regarded as potential markers of disease susceptibility. The present long-term follow-up study evaluated the fate of antibody-positive first-degree relatives.


25 patients with Crohn's disease, 19 patients with ulcerative colitis and 102 first-degree relatives in whom presence of ASCA, pANCA, pancreatic- and goblet-cell antibodies had been assessed were enrolled. The number of incident cases with inflammatory bowel disease was compared between antibody-positive and antibody-negative first-degree relatives 7 years after storage of serum samples.


34 of 102 (33%) first-degree relatives were positive for at least one of the studied serum antibodies. In the group of first-degree relatives, one case of Crohn's disease and one case of ulcerative colitis were diagnosed during the follow-up period. However, both relatives did not display any of the investigated serum antibodies (p=1).


The findings of our pilot study argue against a role of serum antibodies as a marker of disease susceptibility in first-degree relatives of patients with inflammatory bowel disease. However, these data have to await confirmation in larger ideally prospective multicenter studies before definite conclusions can be drawn.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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