Candidate serum markers in early Crohn's disease: Predictors of disease course

Carolijn Smids, Carmen S.Horjus Talabur Horje, Stefan Nierkens, Julia Drylewicz, Marcel J.M. Groenen, Peter J. Wahab, Ellen G. van Lochem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Aims: More than half of patients with Crohn's disease [CD] develop disease complications requiring aggressive medical therapy or surgery over time. However, predicting disease course and treatment response remains difficult. We therefore identified distinctive serum analytes associated with disease activity and course in newly diagnosed, untreated patients at presentation and during their follow-up. Methods: In a pilot study, a multiplex immunoassay analysis on 36 markers was performed on serum from 20 CD patients at the time of primary diagnosis following endoscopic evaluation. The 12 most potent markers associated with disease activity, phenotype and course were analysed in a consecutive cohort of 66 CD patients at diagnosis and follow-up [n = 39]. A healthy control group [n = 20] was included as a reference. Results: CD patients had higher baseline levels of sTNF-R2 [p = 0.001], sIL-2R [p = 0.0001], and MMP-1 [p = 0.001] compared with healthy controls. Serial measurements revealed that these three analytes dropped statistically significantly from baseline level during remission and were high during exacerbation. Great decline of sTNF-R1 levels was found during remission, with 6.7-fold lower levels than in healthy controls [p = 0.015]. Patients who did not respond to initial prednisone treatment had higher baseline levels of sTNF-R2 [p = 0.001]. Patients experiencing relapses during follow-up had lower baseline sTNF-R2 and VCAM levels compared with patients with long-lasting remission. Conclusions: In a large cohort of newly diagnosed untreated CD patients, we identified candidate serum markers [sTNF-R1, sTNF-R2, sIL-2R, and MMP-1] associated with disease activity. Furthermore, sTNF-R2 was associated with prednisone response and, together with VCAM, with long-lasting remission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1090-1100
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Crohn's and Colitis
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Analytes
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Markers
  • Multiplex
  • Soluble receptors
  • Untreated


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