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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 11, Issue 3, Pages 203-207
Original Article

Prospective Evaluation of Neutrophil Autoantibodies in 500 Consecutive Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Hugh Freeman, Brenda Roeck, Dana Devine, and Cedric Carter

Department of Medicine (Gastroenterology), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Received 27 May 1996; Accepted 30 July 1996

Copyright © 1997 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Previous studies have shown antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies (ANCA) in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). A particular subclass, the so-called 'atypical' (perinuclear) p-ANCA type, occurs in the majority of patients with ulcerative colitis. The purpose of this prospective study was to assess, in a blinded fashion, this 'subclinical' serological marker in a consecutive series of IBD patients. Five hundred patients were evaluated, including 247 patients with ulcerative colitis and 253 with Crohn's disease involving the small and/or large intestine. Overall, 194 (38.8%) of all patients with IBD were positive, including 164 (66.3%) with ulcerative colitis and 30 (11.9%) with Crohn's disease. Except for coexistent sclerosing cholangitis, no other clinical or laboratory variable had an effect on the rate of ANCA detection. This is the largest single study of ANCA in patients with IBD and the only study to provide data solely from a single Canadian centre. Results emphasize the immunopathological differences between ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, and indicate that both disorders are heterogeneous inflammatory disease processes.