Prediction of inflammatory bowel disease relapse has important implications for therapeutic strategies. Fecal S100A12 has been reported as a novel marker of intestinal inflammation. The objective was to investigate the utility of S100A12 as a marker for the confirmation of stable remission and prediction of relapses.
We consecutively included 147 adults and 34 children with Crohn’s disease (n = 61) or ulcerative colitis (n = 120). Over a 3-year period, we collected 686 stool samples and 861 serum samples during regular follow-up visits. S100A12 and calprotectin levels were measured by an enzyme-linked immunoassay.
Fecal S100A12 correlated with S100A12 serum levels, other laboratory markers, as well as disease activity, location, and behavior. Fecal S100A12 levels in the relapse group differed significantly from those of the nonrelapse group. A baseline fecal S100A12 level of >0.5 mg/kg was significantly associated with disease relapse within 18 months. Time course analysis of fecal S100A12 before and after relapse showed a clear increase of S100A12 concentrations up to 6 months before clinical relapse. At 0.43 mg/kg, the sensitivity and specificity of S100A12 for predicting relapse already 8 to 12 weeks earlier were 70% and 83%, respectively.
Regular measurements of fecal S100A12 levels reliably detect inflammatory bowel disease relapse at an early stage, which makes the test a promising noninvasive tool for monitoring and optimizing therapy, and may reduce the need for invasive investigations during disease follow-up.