Ulcerative colitis (UC) is characterized by chronic intestinal inflammation. Patients with UC have repeated remission and relapse. Clinical biomarkers that can predict relapse in UC patients in remission have not been identified. To facilitate the prediction of relapse of UC, we investigated the potential of novel multivariate indexes using statistical modeling of plasma free amino acid (PFAA) concentrations. We measured fasting PFAA concentrations in 369 UC patients in clinical remission, and 355 were observed prospectively for up to 1 year. Relapse rate within 1 year was 23% (82 of 355 patients). The age-and genderadjusted hazard ratio for the lowest quartile compared with the highest quartile of plasma histidine concentration was 2.55 (95% confidence interval: 1.41-4.62; p = 0.0020 (logrank), p for trend = 0.0005). We demonstrated that plasma amino acid profiles in UC patients in clinical remission can predict the risk of relapse within 1 year. Decreased histidine level in PFAAs was associated with increased risk of relapse. Metabolomics could be promising for the establishment of a non-invasive predictive marker in inflammatory bowel disease.
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