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.


Biochemical remission:

Results of blood and stool tests are normal. Bloodwork shows that patient is not anemic and inflammatory biomarkers (such as C-reactive protein) are not elevated. Stool test shows that inflammatory biomarker calprotectin is not elevated.


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


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


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.


Clinical remission:

Absence of symptoms. The patient feels well.

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.

Deep remission:

Clinical remission (no symptoms) coupled with strong, objective evidence currently in the form of biopsy results) that intestinal tissue is healthy.

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.


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)


Incidence and geographic distribution of disease and the related factors.

ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate):

a laboratory blood test for non-specific inflammation.


A term used to describe when symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, are present and active.


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.


the intestine or bowel.

Health economics:

Efficiency, effectiveness, value and behavior in the production and consumption of health and healthcare.

Hemoglobin and Hematocrit:

Measurements of red blood cell number and volume, found in the CBC, useful in determining anemia.


Histologic remission:

Occurs when no active inflammation is seen at the tissue level (when biopsies taken during a colonoscopy are examined under the microscope).

Immune response:

Increase in and activation of immune cells and release of pro-inflammatory molecules  in the blood circulation and in the intestinal lumen

Intestinal Epithelial Homeostasis:

Normal state of the intestinal lining


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.

Mucosal healing:

an absence of active disease seen during a colonoscopy (e.g. no ulcers, no bleeding). Aiming for mucosal healing lowers your risk of complications such as strictures and fistulas.

Mucosal lining:

the inner lining of the small intestine.

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.


abnormal physiological events.

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.


Relating to the process that depends on X-rays.


(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.

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.


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.

Septic complications:

Toxic infections.

Signature(s) of disease:

Measurable parameters that provide evidence of the person's disease activity.

Signature(s) of environmental exposure:

Measurable parameters that provide evidence of the person's exposure to a specific environmental factor.


A narrowing that can occur in the small intestine as a result of active disease.

Toxic megacolon:

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


(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.

US (ultrasound):

n 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.

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.

Wound repair:

Healing of the intestinal ulcers and post-operative recovery