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We read with great interest the paper by Israeli and colleagues (Gut 2005;54:1232–6) assessing the presence of anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies (ASCA) and perinuclear antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (pANCA) before the occurrence of overt clinical manifestations in patients with Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). They found that ASCA were present in 31% of CD patients before clinical diagnosis (but not in UC patients or controls), and that pANCA were detectable in two (25%) of eight UC patients before clinical manifestations but not in 24 matched controls. These observations led the authors …
Conflict of interest: None declared.