A Role for CXCR3 Ligands as Biomarkers of Post-Operative Crohn's Disease Recurrence

Margaret Walshe, Shadi Nayeri, Jiayi Ji, Cristian Hernandez-Rocha, Ksenija Sabic, Liangyuan Hu, Mamta Giri, Shikha Nayar, Steven Brant, Dermot P.B. McGovern, John D. Rioux, Richard H. Duerr, Judy H. Cho, Phil L. Schumm, Mark Lazarev, Mark S. Silverberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background and Aims: Crohn's disease [CD] recurrence following ileocolic resection [ICR] is common. We sought to identify blood-based biomarkers associated with CD recurrence. Methods: CD patients undergoing ICR were recruited across six centres. Serum samples were obtained at post-operative colonoscopy. A multiplex immunoassay was used to analyse 92 inflammation-related proteins [Olink Proteomics]. Bayesian analysis was used to identify proteins associated with increasing Rutgeerts score. Identified proteins were used in receiver operating characteristic [ROC] analysis to examine the ability to identify CD recurrence [Rutgeerts score ≥i2]. Existing single cell data were interrogated to further elucidate the role of the identified proteins. Results: Data from 276 colonoscopies in 213 patients were available. Median time from surgery to first and second colonoscopy was 7 (interquartile range [IQR] 6-9) and 19 [IQR 16-23] months, respectively. Disease recurrence was evident at 60 [30%] first and 36 [49%] second colonoscopies. Of 14 proteins significantly associated with Rutgeerts score, the strongest signal was seen for CXCL9 and MMP1. Among patients on anti-tumour necrosis factor drugs, CXCL9 and CXCL11 were most strongly associated with Rutgeerts score. Both are CXCR3 ligands. Incorporation of identified proteins into ROC analysis improved the ability to identify disease recurrence as compared to C-reactive protein alone: area under the curve [AUC] 0.75 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.66-0.82] vs 0.64 [95% CI 0.56-0.72], p = 0.012. Single cell transcriptomic data provide evidence that innate immune cells are the primary source of the identified proteins. Conclusions: CXCR3 ligands are associated with CD recurrence following ICR. Incorporation of novel blood-based candidate biomarkers may aid in identification of CD recurrence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)900-910
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Crohn's and Colitis
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022


  • CXCL9
  • Rutgeerts score
  • biomarker


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