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World J Gastroenterol. 2017 Jun 7;23(21):3890-3899. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v23.i21.3890.

Dietary and metabolomic determinants of relapse in ulcerative colitis patients: A pilot prospective cohort study.

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Ammar Hassanzadeh Keshteli, Floris F van den Brand, Karen L Madsen, Rosica Valcheva, Karen I Kroeker, Thomas Hoevers, Richard N Fedorak, Levinus A Dieleman, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and CEGIIR, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2X8, Canada.



To identify demographic, clinical, metabolomic, and lifestyle related predictors of relapse in adult ulcerative colitis (UC) patients.


In this prospective pilot study, UC patients in clinical remission were recruited and followed-up at 12 mo to assess a clinical relapse, or not. At baseline information on demographic and clinical parameters was collected. Serum and urine samples were collected for analysis of metabolomic assays using a combined direct infusion/liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resolution spectroscopy. Stool samples were also collected to measure fecal calprotectin (FCP). Dietary assessment was performed using a validated self-administered food frequency questionnaire.


Twenty patients were included (mean age: 42.7 ± 14.8 years, females: 55%). Seven patients (35%) experienced a clinical relapse during the follow-up period. While 6 patients (66.7%) with normal body weight developed a clinical relapse, 1 UC patient (9.1%) who was overweight/obese relapsed during the follow-up (P = 0.02). At baseline, poultry intake was significantly higher in patients who were still in remission during follow-up (0.9 oz vs 0.2 oz, P = 0.002). Five patients (71.4%) with FCP > 150 μg/g and 2 patients (15.4%) with normal FCP (≤ 150 μg/g) at baseline relapsed during the follow-up (P = 0.02). Interestingly, baseline urinary and serum metabolomic profiling of UC patients with or without clinical relapse within 12 mo showed a significant difference. The most important metabolites that were responsible for this discrimination were trans-aconitate, cystine and acetamide in urine, and 3-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate and acetone in serum.


A combination of baseline dietary intake, fecal calprotectin, and metabolomic factors are associated with risk of UC clinical relapse within 12 mo.


Diet; Fecal calprotectin; Metabolomics; Relapse; Ulcerative colitis

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