Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic intestinal disease caused by a dysfunctional immune system when fighting foreign pathogens mistakenly attacking the intestinal tissue resulting destruction of the mucosal tissue and increased extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling. IBD is commonly divided into Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). CD and UC are characterized by mucosal inflammation with elevated protease activity leading to increased ECM remodeling and increased deposition of collagen in lamina propria and submucosa. Excessive collagen deposition into the intestinal mucosal tissue and unresolved inflammation is the leading cause of surgery for IBD patients due to inadequate response to treatment. Therefore ECM markers to monitor mucosal healing/intestinal healing and predicting of treatment response are important.
How many have Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
More than 7 million people are currently diagnosed with IBD, with a prevalence of around 0.3% worldwide. Risk factors also include age, genetics, smoking status, obesity, and environmental factors.
How is Inflammatory Bowel Disease treated?
There is no cure for IBD, but symptoms and inflammation can be treated using immunosuppressants, steroids, or synthetic or biologic treatment. The type of treatment will depend on the severity of symptoms, location of disease and the number of years with IBD.
How is Inflammatory Bowel Disease diagnosed?
A single reference standard for the diagnosis of Crohn’s disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis (UC) does not exist. The diagnosis of CD or UC is based on a combination of clinical, biochemical (CRP and faecal calprotectin), stool, endoscopic, cross-sectional imaging, and histological investigations.