Background: In contrast to pediatric Crohn's disease (CD), little is known in pediatric ulcerative colitis (UC) about the relationship between disease phenotype and serologic reactivity to microbial and other antigens.
Aim: The aim of this study was to examine disease phenotype and serology in a well-characterized inception cohort of children newly diagnosed with UC during the PROTECT Study (Predicting Response to Standardized Pediatric Colitis Therapy).
Methods: Patients were recruited from 29 participating centers. Demographic, clinical, laboratory, and serologic (pANCA, ASCA IgA/IgG, Anti-CBir1, and Anti-OmpC) data were obtained from children 4-17 years old with UC.
Results: Sixty-five percent of the patients had positive serology for pANCA, with 62% less than 12 years old and 66% 12 years old or older. Perinuclear anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies did not correspond to a specific phenotype though pANCA ≥100, found in 19%, was strongly associated with pancolitis (P = 0.003). Anti-CBir1 was positive in 19% and more common in younger children with 32% less than 12 years old as compared with 14% 12 years old or older (P < 0.001). No association was found in any age group between pANCA and Anti-CBir1. Relative rectal sparing was more common in +CBir1, 16% versus 7% (P = 0.02). Calprotectin was lower in Anti-CBir1+ (Median [IQR] 1495 mcg/g [973-3333] vs 2648 mcg/g [1343-4038]; P = 0.04). Vitamin D 25-OH sufficiency was associated with Anti-CBir1+ (P = 0.0009).
Conclusions: The frequency of pANCA in children was consistent with adult observations. High titer pANCA was associated with more extensive disease, supporting the idea that the magnitude of immune reactivity may reflect disease severity. Anti-CBir1+ was more common in younger ages, suggesting host-microbial interactions may differ by patient age.