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Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2018 Mar 19;24(4):861-870. doi: 10.1093/ibd/izx070.

A Distinctive Urinary Metabolomic Fingerprint Is Linked With Endoscopic Postoperative Disease Recurrence in Crohn's Disease Patients.

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Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.
Centre of Excellence for Gastrointestinal Inflammation and Immunity Research (CEGIIR), University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.
Microbiome Analysis Center, George Mason University, Manassas, Virginia.
Department of Biological Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.



Crohn's disease (CD) patients who undergo ileocolonic resection frequently have disease recurrence. The aim of this preliminary study was to identify urinary metabolomic profiles associated with disease recurrence in order to identify underlying mechanisms of recurrence and possible disease biomarkers.


Biopsies from the neoterminal ileum were collected from CD patients (n = 38) after ileocolonic resection in order to assess mucosa-associated microbiota using 16S rRNA multitag pyrosequencing. Urine samples were collected, and metabolomic profiling was done using high-resolution nuclear magnetic resolution spectroscopy and a combined direct infusion liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. The Rutgeerts scoring system was used to assess endoscopic postoperative recurrence of CD.


There were 28 (73.7%) patients with endoscopic CD recurrence. CD patients who were in endoscopic remission had a higher abundance of Bacteroidetes and lower abundance of Fusobacteria and Proteobacteria in comparison with CD patients who had endoscopic recurrence. In addition, metabolomic profiling could also discriminate between these 2 groups of patients. Endoscopic recurrence was associated with increased concentration of urinary levoglucosan. Rutgeerts score was positively correlated with levoglucosan and propylene glycol levels.


CD patients who present with endoscopic disease recurrence after surgery have a unique urinary metabolomic fingerprint that can differentiate them from CD patients who are in endoscopic remission after ileocolonic resection. In addition, mucosal-associated microbiota in CD patients with or without disease recurrence after surgery differs and correlates with some urinary metabolites.


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