Predicting Crohn’s Disease in Those with Ankylosing Spondylitis
A recent study found a strong association between increased levels of an inflammatory marker in the gut and the subsequent development of Crohn’s disease in those with existing ankylosing spondylitis.
Patients participating in the study were asked to provide stool and blood samples, as well as to complete a questionnaire at the beginning of the study, (to establish their baseline scores) and once again five years later at the follow up visit. Of the 204 patients with ankylosing spondylitis initially enrolled in the study, 164 (80%) completed the study by returning for the follow up examination.
Researchers found that an elevated level of gut inflammation at the start of the study – as evidenced by increased levels of a protein called calprotectin in the stool – was a strong predictor of the development of Crohn’s disease within five years.