Immunological markers anti-saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies (ASCA) and anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) in inflammatory bowel disease: a helpful diagnostic tool

A Montanelli, E Mainardi, A Vagni, V Villanacci, C Zambelli, R Cestari, P Cengia, L Minelli, G Missale
Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2005, 51 (2): 201-7

AIM: Nowadays the diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and the differentiation between Crohn disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) is still based on morphological changes identified at endoscopy, radiology, and histopathology. In 5-15% of cases this differentiation is not possible (diagnosed with indeterminate colitis).

METHODS: We evaluated if recently developed commercial kits for the determination of anti-Saccharomyces Cerevisiae antibodies (ASCA) and anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) are useful in differentiating cases of UC from CD diseases with a consequent reduced number of undefined colitis and improved clinical management. Sera from 56 consecutive patients with a clinical diagnoses of IBD were evaluated in a blinded fashion for the presence of ASCA IgA and IgG and ANCA IgG with 2 different diagnostic methods: indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

RESULTS: In our cases we observed good agreement between histopathological examination and laboratory results and the combined use of ASCA and ANCA yielded a correct diagnosis in 93% of patients with CD and in 97% of the UC patients.

CONCLUSIONS: We confirm the value of the test for the diagnosis of CD and UC and the differentiation from other forms of colitis.

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