Deciphering the different phases of preclinical inflammatory bowel disease

Jonas J. Rudbaek, Manasi Agrawal, Joana Torres, Saurabh Mehandru, Jean-Frederic Colombel, Tine Jess*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an immune-mediated inflammatory disease (IMID) of the gastrointestinal tract and includes two subtypes: Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. It is well-recognized that IBD is associated with a complex multifactorial aetiology that includes genetic predisposition and environmental exposures, with downstream dysregulation of systemic immune function and host-microbial interactions in the local environment in the gut. Evidence to support the notion of a multistage development of IBD is growing, as has been observed in other IMIDs such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. With the rising worldwide incidence of IBD, it is increasingly important to understand the complex interplay of pathological events during the different stages of disease development to enable IBD prediction and prevention strategies. In this article, we review comprehensively the current evidence pertaining to the preclinical phase of IBD, including at-risk, initiation and expansion phases. We also discuss the framework of preclinical IBD, expanding on underlying pathways in IBD development, future research directions and IBD development in the context of other IMIDs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)86–100
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

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