Background: Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are characterized by intermittent relapses, and their course is heterogeneous and unpredictable. Our aim was to determine the ability of protein, metabolite, or microbial biomarkers to predict relapse in patients with quiescent disease. Methods: This prospective study enrolled patients with quiescent Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis, defined as the absence of clinical symptoms (Harvey-Bradshaw Index ≤ 4, Simple Clinical Colitis Activity Index ≤ 2) and endoscopic remission within the prior year. The primary outcome was relapse within 2 years, defined as symptomatic worsening accompanied by elevated inflammatory markers resulting in a change in therapy or IBD-related hospitalization or surgery. Biomarkers were tested in a derivation cohort, and their performance was examined in an independent validation cohort. Results: Our prospective cohort study included 164 patients with IBD (108 with Crohn disease, 56 with ulcerative colitis). Upon follow-up for a median of 1 year, 22 patients (13.4%) experienced a relapse. Three protein biomarkers (interleukin-10, glial cell line–derived neurotrophic factor, and T-cell surface glycoprotein CD8 alpha chain) and 4 metabolomic markers (propionyl-L-carnitine, carnitine, sarcosine, and sorbitol) were associated with relapse in multivariable models. Proteomic and metabolomic risk scores independently predicted relapse with a combined area under the curve of 0.83. A high proteomic risk score (odds ratio = 9.11; 95% confidence interval, 1.90-43.61) or metabolomic risk score (odds ratio = 5.79; 95% confidence interval, 1.24-27.11) independently predicted a higher risk of relapse over 2 years. Fecal metagenomics showed an increased abundance of Proteobacteria (P = 0.0019, q = 0.019) and Fusobacteria (P = 0.0040, q = 0.020) and at the species level Lachnospiraceae_ bacterium_2_1_58FAA (P = 0.000008, q = 0.0009) among the relapses. Conclusions: Proteomic, metabolomic, and microbial biomarkers identify a proinflammatory state in quiescent IBD that predisposes to clinical relapse.

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Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Borren, N.Z., Plichta, D., Joshi, AD, Bonilla, G., Sadreyev, R., Vlamakis, H., … Ananthakrishnan, A.N. (2020). Multi-"-Omics" Profiling in Patients With Quiescent Inflammatory Bowel Disease Identifies Biomarkers Predicting Relapse. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, 26(10), 1524–1532. doi:10.1093/ibd/izaa183