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* = Presenting author

P108 Cytokine levels differ during pregnancy amongst women with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease

V. W. Huang*1, N. Hotte2, L. Ambrosio1, K. Smith2, J. Bal1, R. Foshaug1, K. I. Kroeker1, B. Halloran1, L. Dieleman1, R. N. Fedorak1, K. Madsen2

1University of Alberta, Gastroenterology, Edmonton, Canada, 2University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affects women in their reproductive years of life. Women with IBD are at increased risk for pre-term delivery, especially if they have active disease during pregnancy. Some women with IBD flare during pregnancy, whereas others stay in remission. The reason for this difference in disease activity during pregnancy is unclear, but we hypothesise that it may be related to changes in the inflammatory cytokines during pregnancy. We aim to characterise changes in the inflammatory cytokines during pregnancy in women with IBD.


Adult (> 18 years) women with Crohn’s disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis (UC) were invited to participate by providing blood samples preconception (PC), and during pregnancy at each trimester (T[n]). Serum levels of IFN- γ, TNF- α, IL-6, IL-10, IL-17 α, IL-12p40, and C-reactive protein (CRP) were analysed using the MESOplex platform.


There were 21 women (8 CD and 13 UC) who provided both T2 and T3 blood samples. As shown in Figure 1, T2 and T3 IFN- γ and IL-6 levels were not significantly different between CD and UC patients. T2 and T3 TNF- α levels were slightly higher in UC patients. T2 and T3 CRP levels were significantly lower in UC patients compared with CD patients. T2 IL-10 levels were higher in UC patients, with a trend downwards into T3. IL-17 levels decreased from T2 to T3 in both UC and CD patients. T2 IL-12p40 levels were higher in UC patients and significantly decreased into T3. Although the IL-17/IL-p40 ratios were not significantly different between UC and CD patients, the ratio was increased in T3 in UC patients.

Figure 1. Cytokine levels in second and third trimester of pregnancy in women with IBD.


There are differences in cytokine levels during pregnancy in women with UC compared with those with CD. We are currently studying how these differences are associated with disease activity during pregnancy in this study population of pregnant IBD patients.