Crohn’s & Colitis Glossary

Anti-OmpC (outer membrane protein C): the antibody to a specific protein on the outer membrane, recently identified as a significant biomarker. New data shows that anti-OmpC levels are high among members of families that have a history of both Crohn’s and colitis.

ASCA (anti-saccharomyces cerevesiae): a serology test useful in distinguishing Crohn’s disease from ulcerative colitis and predicting disease course.

Biomarkers: proteins in the body that may be measured by laboratory tests to assist in diagnosis and management of disease.

Biopsy: a tissue sample provided to a pathologist to help diagnose and classify disease. 

Calprotectin: a stool test for intestinal inflammation that aids in predicting active disease.

CBC (complete blood count): a laboratory blood test that helps to detect anemia, infection, and inflammation.

CBiR1 (Anti-Flagellin): this antibody may be a marker of Crohn’s disease complicated by fistulas, perforations, or other serious problems.

CRP (C-reactive protein): a laboratory test that indicates non-specific inflammation in the body.

CT (computed tomography): an imaging test that uses X-rays to make detailed pictures of structures with the body.

CTE (computed tomography enterography): a variation of the CT scan where the patient swallows special contrast agents to give a sharp outline of the intestines in the X-rays.

DEXA (bone densitometry scan): an X-ray that assesses the thickness of bones and risk for osteoporosis (thin bones) and fractures.

EIM (extraintestinal manifestations of IBD): signs and symptoms outside of the gastrointestinal tract associated with IBD.

Electrolytes: laboratory test panel including serum sodium, potassium, chloride, and carbon dioxide that may indicate dehydration and other complications or medication side effects.

ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangeopancreatography): a type of endoscopy that utilizes X-ray to diagnose a liver disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC)

ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate): a laboratory blood test for non-specific inflammation.

Granuloma: a collection of cells in the intestinal lining, visible under the microscope, that indicate the body’s attempt to get rid of a foreign material; sometimes seen in Crohn’s disease, but not always present.

Gut: the intestine or bowel.

Hemoglobin and hematocrit: measurements of red blood cell number and volume, found in the CBC, useful in determining anemia.

Lactoferrin: a stool test for intestinal inflammation that aids in predicting active IBD.

MRCP (magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography): a type of MRI that allows the physician to see images of the bile ducts, which are similar to ERCP images.

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): an imaging test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of organs and structures within the body.

p-ANCA (perinulclear anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies): a serology test that may aid in diagnosing ulcerative colitis, distinguishing it from Crohn’s disease, and predicting disease course.

PPD: (purified protein derivative): tuberculosis (TB) skin test, advised for all patients taking biologic therapies, to assess the presence of latent and active TB disease.

Radiographic: Relating to the process that depends on X-rays.

Small bowel enteroclysis: an imaging test that evaluates the small intestine by infusing barium and air through a tube inserted into the small intestine via the nose.

Serology: a blood test to identify antibodies (proteins) which may have developed in response to an infection, other foreign proteins, or to one’s own proteins.

SBFT/SBS: (small bowel follow-through/small bowel series): an imaging test that evaluates the small intestine, involving swallowing barium, after which serial x-rays are taken.

US (ultrasound): an imaging test in which high-frequency sound waves, not heard by the human ear, are transmitted through body tissues using a transducer, relaying information to a computer for display.

Toxic megacolon: an acute condition where the colon is dilated or enlarged, a complication associated with ulcerative colitis.

TPMT: (thiopurine methyl transferase): a laboratory blood test for the activity of an enzyme that helps in breaking down the medications azathioprine and 6MP, which helps to establish proper dosing of these medications.

Virtual colonoscopy: a less invasive, new version of colonoscopy, done without sedation and using X-rays and computer-based, virtual-reality technology to produce 3-D images of the lining of the colon. Virtual colonoscopy is not currently used to diagnose or monitor IBD.

For further information, call Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's IBD Help Center: 888.MY.GUT.PAIN (888.694.8872).

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation provides information for educational purposes only. We encourage you to review this educational material with your health care professional. The Foundation does not provide medical or other health care opinions or services. The inclusion of another organization's resources or referral to another organization does not represent an endorsement of a particular individual, group, company or product.

About this resource

Published: May 1, 2012

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