Current and future role of biomarkers in Crohn's disease risk assessment and treatment
Cyrus P Tamboli1, David B Doman2, Amar Patel3
1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA; 2George Washington School of Medicine, Silver Spring, MD, USA; 3Peloton Advantage, LLC, Parsippany, NJ, USA
Background: Crohn’s disease (CD), a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), occurs in genetically susceptible individuals who develop aberrant immune responses to endoluminal bacteria. Recurrent inflammation increases the risk of several complications. Despite use of a traditional “step-up” therapy with corticosteroids and immunomodulators, most CD patients eventually require surgery at some time in their disease course. Newer biologic agents have been remarkably effective in controlling severe disease. Thus, “top-down,” early aggressive therapy has been proposed to yield better outcomes, especially in complicated disease. However, safety and cost issues mandate the need for careful patient selection. Identification of high-risk candidates who may benefit from aggressive therapy is becoming increasingly relevant. Serologic and genetic markers of CD have great potential in this regard. The aim of this review is to highlight the clinical relevance of these markers for diagnostics and prognostication.
Methods: A current PubMed literature search identified articles regarding the role of biomarkers in IBD diagnosis, severity prediction, and stratification. Studies were also reviewed on the presence of IBD markers in non-IBD diseases.
Results: Several IBD seromarkers and genetic markers appear to be associated with complex CD phenotypes. Qualitative and quantitative serum immune reactivity to microbial antigens may be predictive of disease progression and complications.
Conclusion: The cumulative evidence provided by serologic and genetic testing has the potential to enhance clinical decision-making when formulating individualized IBD therapeutic plans.
Keywords: Crohn’s disease, serologic testing, inflammatory bowel disease, complicated disease, biomarkers
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