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26-10-2010 | Gastroenterology | Article

Serum S100A12 helps distinguish IBD from IBS patients


Free abstract

MedWire News: The calcium binding, pro-inflammatory protein S100A12 is present at higher levels in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) than in those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), say researchers who believe it may serve as an inflammatory marker.

S100A12 is secreted by granulocytes and has been associated with different inflammatory diseases including IBD. Andreas Kapsoritakis (University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece) and colleagues evaluated whether it could be used as a distinguishing factor between IBD and IBS.

They recruited 64 patients with ulcerative colitis (UC), 64 with Crohn's disease (CD), and 73 with IBS and measured their serum levels of S100A12 using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

As reported in the journal BMC Gastroenterology, the team found that median S100A12 levels were significantly higher in UC and CD patients, at 68.2 and 70.0 ng/ml, respectively, than in IBS patients, at 43.4 ng/ml.

They also found that a cutoff point of 54.4 ng/ml could predict IBD (CD or UC) with a sensitivity and specificity of 66.7% and 64.4%, respectively, with a significant area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.67.

Of note, the researchers observed slightly higher levels of S100A12 in patients with active as opposed to inactive IBD, but this was not statistically significant.

The authors suggest that "since the diagnostic utility of serum S100A12 was moderate, when used alone, its use in a 'palette' of established serological markers, might actually lead to an improved overall diagnostic performance."

They conclude: "Further research in larger populations is mandatory, in order to verify these results, examine the association of serum S100A12 with disease or patients' characteristics and specify whether serum S100A12 could be added in the existing armamentarium, used for the diagnosis of IBD."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Helen Albert