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Biomarkers in the management of ulcerative colitis: a brief review

Author(s): Masoodi, Ibrahim | Tijjani, Bashir M. | Wani, Hamidullah | Hassan, Nadeem Syed | Khan, Arshad Bashir | Hussain, Shabnum

Journal: GMS German Medical Science
ISSN 1612-3174

Volume: 9;
Start page: Doc03;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: biomarkers | ulcerative colitis | inflammation | serum C-reactive protein | fecal markers | myeloperoxidase (MPO) | calprotectin | lactoferrin | review

Several attempts have been made in the last two decades to investigate ulcerative colitis (UC) patients during the natural course of the disease so as to identify appropriate surrogate markers of disease activity. Most patients with quiescent inflammatory bowel disease have low grade inflammation and it is possible that relapse occurs only once the inflammatory process crosses a critical intensity. Since inflammation is a continuous process, its direct assessment may provide us a quantitative pre-symptomatic measure of imminent relapse. If substantial, it may allow targeted treatment early, to avert relapse or formulate newer therapeutic strategies to maintain symptomatic remission. It is clinically very important to identify these patients at a subclinical stage, noninvasively, by various biomarkers. Biomarkers help to gain an objective measurement of disease activity as symptoms are often subjective. Biomarkers also help to avoid invasive procedures which are often a burden to the patient and the health care system. If an ideal biomarker existed for UC, it would greatly facilitate the work of the gastroenterologist treating these patients. Both “classical” and “emerging” biomarkers of relevance for UC have been studied, but the quest for an ideal biomarker still continues. In this brief review we describe various biomarkers of clinical importance.

Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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