Published online Mar 14, 2006. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v12.i10.1621
Revised: September 11, 2005
Accepted: October 10, 2005
Published online: March 14, 2006
AIM: To investigate the role of cryofibrinogen (CF) in active inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
METHODS: CF was assayed in 284 subjects: 61 with active and 63 with inactive ulcerative colitis (UC), 45 who had proctocolectomy, 35 with active and 20 with inactive Crohn's disease (CD), 40 with other diseases and 20 healthy controls. Trypsin inhibitor (TI) and TI antibody (TI-Ab) were measured in plasma and CF complex by ELISA.
RESULTS: CF in active UC was strikingly high compared with all other groups (χ2<0.001). Similarly, CF was significantly higher in active CD than in inactive CD or in controls (χ2<0.01). In UC, high CF and TI-Ab were associated with the need for operations. Further, high CF, CF/fibrinogen ratio, low TI and high TI-Ab in plasma were associated with disease activity or refractoriness to medication. Elevated CF was not associated with acute reactants like C-reactive protein and white blood cell counts except for erythrocyte sedimentation rate, suggesting that elevated CF was not a consequence of acute inflammation.
CONCLUSION: Elevated CF in active IBD appears to be morbigenous. CF promotes IBD via two main mechanisms, quenching of TI (an anti-inflammatory substance) and impairing microvascular perfusion by forming protein aggregates. CF may also serve as a biomarker of chronic IBD. Additional studies are warranted to fully evaluate the role of CF in IBD and the outcome should contribute to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of IBD.