Which characteristics define the etiology of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?

Updated: Oct 17, 2017
  • Author: William A Rowe, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Three characteristics define the etiology of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): (1) genetic predisposition; (2) an altered, dysregulated immune response; and (3) an altered response to gut microorganisms. However, the triggering event for the activation of the immune response in IBD has yet to be identified. Possible factors related to this event include a pathogenic organism (as yet unidentified) or an inappropriate response (ie, failure to downgrade the inflammatory response to an antigen, such as an alteration in barrier function).


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