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Anticarbohydrate antibodies as markers of inflammatory bowel disease in a Central European cohort

Malickova, Karina; Lakatos, Peter L.c; Bortlik, Martinb; Komarek, Viktorb; Janatkova, Ivanaa; Lukas, Milana b

European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology: February 2010 - Volume 22 - Issue 2 - p 144-150
doi: 10.1097/MEG.0b013e32832f5c7e
Original Articles: Colorectal Disorders

Background The study discusses the role of antichitobioside carbohydrate antibody (ACCA), antilaminaribioside carbohydrate antibodies (ALCA), and antimannobioside carbohydrate antibodies (AMCA) in Central European patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Patients and methods Twohundred and seventy-two serum samples were used – 116 Crohn's disease (CD), 84 ulcerative colitis, and 72 healthy control samples. All samples were evaluated using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the following four anticarbohydrate assays: ACCA, ALCA, AMCA, and anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies (gASCA).

Results gASCA antibodies showed the highest sensitivity (67%) for a CD diagnosis, followed by AMCA (31%), ACCA (27%), and ALCA (25%). Positivity of at least one of the four assays increased the overall sensitivity of antibody testing in CD up to 85.5%. Mean serum gASCA levels were significantly higher in CD patients who were younger at diagnosis and had a longer disease duration before blood sampling (P<0.001). In nonstricturing, nonpenetrating CD, serum gASCA levels were lower than in patients with stricturing and/or penetrating behavior (P<0.05). The strongest association of gASCA was found with ileocolonic CD and with upper gastrointestinal disease (P<0.001). No association between anticarbohydrate (AMCA, ACCA, and ALCA) antibodies and CD location, behavior, age at onset, and disease duration was found; however, that sample size of some of our subgroups was probably too small to make firm conclusions on associations with all CD phenotypes. None of the assessed anticarbohydrate assays was predictive of colonic CD in patients in whom the distinction between CD and ulcerative colitis is not obvious using routine diagnostic methods. There was no relationship between the presence or concentration of anticarbohydrate antibodies and the inflammation measured by C-reactive protein levels.

Conclusion The use of a panel of anticarbohydrate antibodies may provide additional help in distinguishing IBD from non-IBD disease patterns. The addition of AMCA, ALCA, and ACCA assays as IBD serology markers improves the overall sensitivity of immunological examinations in IBD; however, anticarbohydrate assays are not helpful for predicting CD behavior.

aInstitute of Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Diagnostics, General University Hospital and First Faculty of Medicine of Charles University

bIBD Clinical and Research Centre, Charles University and ISCARE IVF, Prague, Czech Republic

cFirst Department of Medicine, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary

Correspondence to Milan Lukas, MD, PhD, IBD Clinical and Research Centre, ISCARE IVF and First Faculty of Medicine of Charles University, Prague, Jankovcova 1569/2c, Prague 7, 170 00, Czech Republic

Tel: +420 234 770 299; fax: +420 234 770 300; e-mail:

Received 4 March 2009 Accepted 27 May 2009

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.