Background and aims: It is not clear whether Crohn's disease patients in clinical remission (Crohn's disease activity index < 150) display normal concentrations of inflammation sensitive biomarkers. Our goal in this work was to explore the intensity of the microinflammatory response in a group of Crohn's disease patients in clinical remission.
Methods: High sensitivity C-reactive protein, quantitative fibrinogen, erythrocyte sedimentation rate as well as platelet and leukocyte counts were examined in a group of 76 patients with Crohn's disease in remission and in 228 matched controls.
Results: Crohn's disease patients in clinical remission displayed a statistically significant (p < 0.001) elevated concentration of hs-CRP (4.83 ± 3.8 mg/l) compared to controls (1.05 ± 2.9 mg/l). All other bio-markers were also significantly higher in Crohn's disease patients in remission compared to controls. Similar results were obtained in a subgroup of Crohn's disease patients with very low disease activity — CDAI < 75.
Conclusions: Clinical remission is not equivalent to biochemical remission raising a question concerning the true definition of remission in Crohn's disease.