Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Research Center, Research Institute for Children Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Background: Given the important role of amino acids in regulating many metabolic pathways of the body and considering the scarcity of markers for the diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and its differentiation, we aimed to investigate the status of serum amino acids chromatography in children with IBD.
Materials and Methods
This case-control study was conducted among children with primary diagnosis of IBD who referred to Mofid Children's hospital in Tehran, Iran. Children with a definite diagnosis of chronic IBD on the basis of endoscopy and biopsy were enrolled. In addition, 100 children without any history of predisposing, chronic, or inflammatory disease who referred to the same hospital during the period of the study were also selected. All samples underwent serum amino acids chromatography via HPLC method.
Of all the patients in the IBD group, 18 patients (18%) suffered from Crohn's disease and 82 patients (82%) had ulcerative colitis; the disease was active in 54 patients (54%). The results of serum amino acids chromatography showed that several amino acids were significantly higher in patients with IBD. Considering the normal serum levels of amino acids, only the levels of two amino acids of histidine and tryptophan were significantly different in the IBD group compared the control group. In total, of all the subjects, 30 children (15%) had abnormal amino acid serum chromatography; hence, its prevalence was significantly higher in the IBD group (P=0.048).
The current study showed that serum amino acid chromatography in children with IBD were different from that in healthy children. More specifically, the decrease in tryptophan level was more observed in patients with active disease.