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Török, H.-P.; Glas, J.; Hollay, H. C.; Gruber, R.; Osthoff, M.; Tonenchi, L.; Bruckl, C.; Mussack, T.; Folwaczny, Matthias; Folwaczny, Christian (2005): Serum antibodies in first-degree relatives of patients with IBD: A marker of disease susceptibility? A follow-up pilot-study after 7 years. In: Digestion, Nr. 2-3: S. 119-123


Introduction: Various disease-specific serum antibodies were described in patients with inflammatory bowel disease and their yet healthy first-degree relatives. In the latter, serum antibodies are commonly regarded as potential markers of disease susceptibility. The present long-term follow-up study evaluated the fate of antibody-positive first-degree relatives. Patients and Methods: 25 patients with Crohn's disease, 19 patients with ulcerative colitis and 102 first-degree relatives in whom presence of ASCA, pANCA, pancreatic- and goblet-cell antibodies had been assessed were enrolled. The number of incident cases with inflammatory bowel disease was compared between antibody-positive and antibody-negative first-degree relatives 7 years after storage of serum samples. Results: 34 of 102 (33%) first-degree relatives were positive for at least one of the studied serum antibodies. In the group of first-degree relatives, one case of Crohn's disease and one case of ulcerative colitis were diagnosed during the follow-up period. However, both relatives did not display any of the investigated serum antibodies (p = 1). Discussion: The findings of our pilot study argue against a role of serum antibodies as a marker of disease susceptibility in first-degree relatives of patients with inflammatory bowel disease. However, these data have to await confirmation in larger ideally prospective multicenter studies before definite conclusions can be drawn.