Published online Jan 21, 2016. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v22.i3.1017
Peer-review started: April 19, 2015
First decision: June 23, 2015
Revised: July 7, 2015
Accepted: November 9, 2015
Article in press: November 9, 2015
Published online: January 21, 2016
Core tip: Natural course of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) is mostly unpredictable so far. Predictors of benign or unfavourable clinical course are required to facilitate treatment strategies. Our aim is to review current evidence on the main clinical and biological markers to predict the aggressiveness of IBD and to discuss their prognostic role. No single marker is reliable as a flare predictor but a combination of clinical and biological indicators better serves our requirements; we propose an algorithm applicable in our daily practice, arising from a combination of clinical history and biological markers.