What is the role of lab studies in the evaluation of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?

Updated: Apr 10, 2020
  • Author: William A Rowe, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Several laboratory studies are of value in assisting with the management of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and provide supporting information. However, no laboratory test is specific enough to adequately and definitively establish the diagnosis of IBD. Laboratory values may be used as surrogate markers for inflammation and nutritional status and to look for deficiencies of necessary vitamins and minerals. Serologic studies have been proposed to help diagnose IBD and to differentiate Crohn disease from ulcerative colitis, but such studies are not recommended for routine diagnosis of Crohn disease or ulcerative colitis.

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