Identification of new biomarkers in inflammatory bowel disease

Biomarkers are important to assess disease severity without the need of costly and invasive imaging techniques. Currently available biomarkers have limited specificity and sensitivity and the search for a better and more reliable non-invasive marker of disease activity, both in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, remains ongoing despite many different attempts from the IBD community.


Our group has tried to identify transcriptional markers of disease severity in blood and is currently conducting studies using whole blood Paxgene samples in patients undergoing endoscopic evaluation in order to assess the location, severity and extensiveness of the disease. The correlation between the presence of lesions and the expression of a group of transcripts in peripheral blood is currently being evaluated.


This work is directed by Azucena Salas and performed by Nuria Planell with the technical assistance of Miriam Esteller. The groups of Dr. Jordi Guardiola at the Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge, in Barcelona and Dr. Raquel F. Leal at the University of Campinas in Brazil actively collaborate in this project.


Usefulness of Transcriptional Blood Biomarkers as a Non-invasive Surrogate Marker of Mucosal Healing and Endoscopic Response in Ulcerative Colitis.

Planell N,, Masamunt MC, Leal RF,, Rodríguez L, Esteller M, Lozano JJ, Ramírez A, Ayrizono MLS, Coy CSR, Alfaro I, Ordás I, Visvanathan S, Ricart E, Guardiola J, Panés J, Salas A.

J Crohns Colitis. 2017 Oct 27;11(11):1335-1346.

doi: 10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjx091.