Pilot Project

Vera K. Denmark
Vera K. Denmark, M.D.
Instructor(pending) Medicine
Mount Sinai School of Medicine

CEACAM5 as a Marker of Differentiation Between Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) are a group of inflammatory conditions affecting the GI tract resulting from an interplay of genetic factors and environmental triggers. The two main disease entities under the IBD umbrella are Crohn's disease (CD) and Ulcerative colitis (UC). Because of overlapping clinical, endoscopic and pathological characteristics, about 10% of IBD cases cannot be classified as CD or UC and are referred to as indeterminate colitis. As the diagnosis of CD carries a high failure rate following total proctocolectomy with ileal pouch anal anastomosis, it is critical to diagnose CD prior to committing a patient to surgery. Currently available serological and fecal markers of differentiation between CD and UC lack in sensitivity, which limits their clinical utility. We propose to use an epithelial surface glycoprotein, gp180, as a marker to distinguish between the two diseases. GP180 is expressed on the apical surface of epithelial cells in UC but not in CD. We propose to develop an immunoflorescent probe which would identify gp180 in intestinal biopsies from patients with UC but not with CD. In addition, we plan to test gp180 as a marker of inflammation in CD, as our preliminary data indicates that gp180 is upregulated with inflammation in CD. Our ultimate goal is to inject a targeted molecular probe into the colon during colonoscopy in order to obtain diagnostic answers in real time.