Halfvarson J, Bodin L, Tysk C, Lindberg E, Järnerot G.. Inflammatory bowel disease in a Swedish twin cohort: a long-term follow-up of concordance and clinical characteristics. Gastroenterology 124: 1767-1773

Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Orebro University Hospital, S-701 85 Orebro, Sweden.
Gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 16.72). 06/2003; 124(7):1767-73. DOI: 10.1016/S0016-5085(03)00385-8
Source: PubMed


In 1988, we reported the first twin study in inflammatory bowel disease. The aim of the current study was to follow up these twins regarding new cases of inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn's disease characteristics using the Vienna classification.
The official Swedish population register and the cause of death register were used to search for the twins. All living patients were interviewed.
Three monozygotic twins earlier classified as healthy had been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis, n = 2; Crohn's disease, n = 1). Retrospectively, all 3 were symptomatic at the original survey. This changed the pair concordance in monozygotic twins from 6.3% to 18.8% in ulcerative colitis and from 44.4% to 50.0% in Crohn's disease. A high degree of concordance regarding age at diagnosis, disease location at diagnosis and during the course, and disease behavior was found in concordant monozygotic twin pairs with Crohn's disease. Seven of 9 pairs were identical in 3 or more of these disease characteristics compared with an expected number of 1.5 (P = 0.000076).
This study confirms that the genetic influence is stronger in Crohn's disease than in ulcerative colitis. A remarkable phenotype similarity within concordant pairs with Crohn's disease was found using the Vienna classification.

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    • "There is also a suggestion of overlap of some susceptibility loci with other immune related diseases.25 In a study published in 2003 that focused on familial aggregation of IBD, the concordance level was only 50% for CD and 19% for UC in monozygotic twins.26,27 This provides evidence that more than genetics is needed for IBD development. "
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    ABSTRACT: Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, are disorders of chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract marked by episodes of relapse and remission. Over the past several decades, advances have been made in understanding the epidemiology of IBD. The incidence and prevalence of both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis have been increasing worldwide across pediatric and adult populations. As IBD is thought to be related to a combination of individual genetic susceptibility, environmental triggers, and alterations in the gut microbiome that stimulate an inflammatory response, understanding the potentially modifiable environmental risk factors associated with the development or the course of IBD could impact disease rates or management in the future. Current hypotheses as to the development of IBD are reviewed, as are a host of environmental cofactors that have been investigated as both protective and inciting factors for IBD onset. Such environmental factors include breast feeding, gastrointestinal infections, urban versus rural lifestyle, medication exposures, stress, smoking, and diet. The role of these factors in disease course is also reviewed. Looking forward, there is still much to be learned about the etiology of IBD and how specific environmental exposures intimately impact the development of disease and also the potential for relapse.
    Clinical Epidemiology 07/2013; 5(1):237-47. DOI:10.2147/CLEP.S33961
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    • "Generally, the cause of esophageal diseases is still speculative. Host genetics may play a key role [8,9], but environmental factors are also likely involved [10]. Colonizing bacteria in all parts of the human digestive tract, from the oral cavity to the anus, are essential to human survival [11-13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The distal esophagus harbors a complex bacterial population. We hypothesized that a better understanding of bacterial communities in the esophagus would facilitate understanding of the role of bacteria in esophageal disease. Here, we investigated bacterial composition in the distal esophagus in subjects with a normal esophagus, reflux esophagitis, and Barrett’s esophagus. Methods Two biopsy specimens were obtained from the distal esophagus at 1 cm above the gastroesophageal junction under endoscopic examination in 18 patients (6 each with normal esophagus, reflux esophagitis, and Barrett’s esophagus) and used for histological examination and DNA extraction. Fragments of 16S rDNA genes were amplified by PCR using general bacterial primers, and bacterial populations were examined. A third biopsy specimen was taken from the patients with Barrett’s esophagus to histologically confirm the replacement of squamous epithelium with columnar epithelium in the distal esophagus. Results Endoscopic diagnoses of normal esophagus, esophagitis, and Barrett’s esophagus were confirmed by histological findings. The total amount of bacterial DNA detected did not significantly differ among groups (p > 0.1). On average, each of the 18 subjects yielded about 350 clones, of which 40 were randomly picked and sequenced. Analysis of 147 16S rDNA sequences from 240 clones of 6 subjects with normal esophagus yielded four phyla, Proteobacteria (49%), Firmicutes (40%), Bacteroidetes (8%), and Actinobacteria (3%). Similar analysis of 139 16S rDNA sequences from 240 clones of 6 patients with reflux esophagitis yielded 6 phyla, Proteobacteria (43%), Firmicutes (33%), Bacteroidetes (10%), Fusobacteria (10%), Actinobacteria (2%), and TM7 (2%). while that of 138 16S rDNA sequences from 240 clones of 6 cases of Barrett’s esophagus yielded 5 phyla, Firmicutes (55%), Proteobacteria (20%), Bacteroidetes (14%), Fusobacteria (9%), and Actinobacteria (2%). Thus, microbial communities differed among patients with a normal esophagus, reflux esophagitis and Barrett’s esophagus. Conclusions Esophageal bacterial composition differs under conditions of normal esophagus, reflux esophagitis, and Barrett’s esophagus. Diverse bacterial communities may be associated with esophageal disease.
    BMC Infectious Diseases 03/2013; 13(1). DOI:10.1186/1471-2334-13-130 · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    • "The cause of both conditions is still speculative. Host genetics play a key role, with genetic factors more important for development of CD than UC [3,4], but genetic defects cannot wholly explain the increasing prevalence of IBD in recent years, suggesting that environmental factors are also involved [5]. The current generally accepted disease hypothesis is that the chronic inflammation of IBD results from a genetically dysregulated host immune response directed at the gut microbiota [6-8]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The gut microbiota is thought to play a key role in the development of the inflammatory bowel diseases Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). Shifts in the composition of resident bacteria have been postulated to drive the chronic inflammation seen in both diseases (the "dysbiosis" hypothesis). We therefore specifically sought to compare the mucosa-associated microbiota from both inflamed and non-inflamed sites of the colon in CD and UC patients to that from non-IBD controls and to detect disease-specific profiles. Paired mucosal biopsies of inflamed and non-inflamed intestinal tissue from 6 CD (n = 12) and 6 UC (n = 12) patients were compared to biopsies from 5 healthy controls (n = 5) by in-depth sequencing of over 10,000 near full-length bacterial 16S rRNA genes. The results indicate that mucosal microbial diversity is reduced in IBD, particularly in CD, and that the species composition is disturbed. Firmicutes were reduced in IBD samples and there were concurrent increases in Bacteroidetes, and in CD only, Enterobacteriaceae. There were also significant differences in microbial community structure between inflamed and non-inflamed mucosal sites. However, these differences varied greatly between individuals, meaning there was no obvious bacterial signature that was positively associated with the inflamed gut. These results may support the hypothesis that the overall dysbiosis observed in inflammatory bowel disease patients relative to non-IBD controls might to some extent be a result of the disturbed gut environment rather than the direct cause of disease. Nonetheless, the observed shifts in microbiota composition may be important factors in disease maintenance and severity.
    BMC Microbiology 01/2011; 11(1):7. DOI:10.1186/1471-2180-11-7 · 2.73 Impact Factor
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