Identification of Differentially Expressed Genes as Biomarkers for Diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): A Pilot Gene Discovery Hypothesis Generating Study
The diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is currently based on symptomatic criteria that exclude other conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract, such as celiac disease, food allergies, and infections. The absence of appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for IBS places a significant burden on the patient and the health care system due to direct and indirect costs of care. Limitations associated with the application of symptomatic criteria include inappropriate use and/or intrinsic limitations such as the population to which these criteria are applied. The lack of biomarkers specific for IBS, non-specific abdominal symptoms, and considerable variability in the disease course creates additional uncertainty during diagnosis. This project involved screening tissue samples from patients with verified IBS to identify gene expression-based biomarkers associated with IBS. Through validation of microarray gene chip data on the tissue samples using PCR, it was determined that a number of genes within the diseased IBS patient tissue samples were differentially expressed in comparison to the healthy subjects. These findings could potentially lead to the diagnosis of IBS on the basis of a genetic "fingerprint".