Inflammatory bowel disease and colitis: new concepts from the bench and the clinic

Department of Gastroenterology, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
Current opinion in gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 3.66). 11/2010; 27(1):32-7. DOI: 10.1097/MOG.0b013e3283412e87
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The previous 18 months have shown important progress in unravelling the causes of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and in improving its management for the patients.
More genome-wide association studies and meta-analyses of these have been published and have identified more than 100 confirmed genes for IBD, and highlighted a number of novel pathways. Two of the genes, NOD2/CARD15 and the autophagy gene ATG16L1 have recently been linked into one functional pathway of bacterial sensing, invasion and elimination. From the clinical side, the previous year has been dominated mainly by the results of the SONIC study, comparing efficacy and safety of azathioprine, infliximab and the combination of azathioprine and infliximab, in patients with active Crohn's disease, naive to these drugs. International consensus guidelines on infection prevention were released last year by the European Crohn's and Colitis Organisation.
The recent findings in IBD include the increasing number of IBD susceptibility genes, the demonstration that NOD2 and ATG16L1 are linked in one functional pathway and the role of IL-33/ST2 in colitis. From the bedside, the novelties have been the results of SONIC and selecting the right patient for intensified treatment with immunomodulators and anti-tumor necrosis factor, and appropriate counselling regarding risk of infections and vaccinations.

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