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BACKGROUND:Blood gene expression profiling has been used in several studies to identify patients with a number of conditions and diseases. A blood test with the ability to differentiate Crohn's disease (CD) from ulcerative colitis (UC) and noninflammatory diarrhea would be useful in the clinical management of these diseases.
METHODS:Affymetrix U133Plus 2.0 GeneChip oligonucleotide arrays were used to generate whole blood gene expression profiles for 21 patients with UC, 24 patients with CD, and 10 control patients with diarrhea, but without colonic pathology.
RESULTS:A supervised learning method (logistic regression) was used to identify specific panels of probe sets which were able to discriminate between UC and CD and from controls. The UC panel consisted of the four genes, CD300A, KPNA4, IL1R2, and ELAVL1; the CD panel comprised the four genes CAP1, BID, NIT2, and NPL. These panels clearly differentiated between CD and UC.
CONCLUSIONS:Gene expression profiles from blood can differentiate patients with CD from those with UC and from noninflammatory diarrheal disorders.

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