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World J Gastroenterol. 2007 Apr 14;13(14):2028-36.

Utility of serological markers in inflammatory bowel diseases: gadget or magic?


The panel of serologic markers for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) is rapidly expanding. Although anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies (ASCA) and atypical perinuclear antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (P-ANCA) remain the most widely investigated, an increasing amount of experimental data is available on newly discovered antibodies directed against various microbial antigens. The role of the assessment of various antibodies in the current IBD diagnostic algorithm is often questionable due to their limited sensitivity. In contrast, the association of serologic markers with disease behavior and phenotype is becoming increasingly well-established. An increasing number of observations confirms that patients with Crohn's disease expressing multiple serologic markers at high titers are more likely to have complicated small bowel disease (e.g. stricture and/or perforation) and are at higher risk for surgery than those without, or with low titers of antibodies. Creating homogenous disease sub-groups based on serologic response may help develop more standardized therapeutic approaches and may help in a better understanding of the pathomechanism of IBD. Further prospective clinical studies are needed to establish the clinical role of serologic tests in IBD.

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