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Prediction of Crohn’s Disease Stricturing Phenotype Using a NOD2-derived Genomic Biomarker

James J Ashton, Guo Cheng, Imogen S Stafford, Melina Kellermann, Eleanor G Seaby, J R Fraser Cummings, Tracy A F Coelho, Akshay Batra, Nadeem A Afzal, R Mark Beattie, Sarah Ennis

Published in Sep 2022, Inflammatory bowel diseases.


Background Crohn’s disease (CD) is highly heterogenous and may be complicated by stricturing behavior. Personalized prediction of stricturing will inform management. We aimed to create a stricturing risk stratification model using genomic/clinical data.

Methods Exome sequencing was performed on CD patients, and phenotype data retrieved. Biallelic variants in NOD2 were identified. NOD2 was converted into a per-patient deleteriousness metric (“GenePy”). Using training data, patients were stratified into risk groups for fibrotic stricturing using NOD2. Findings were validated in a testing data set. Models were modified to include disease location at diagnosis. Cox proportional hazards assessed performance.

Results Six hundred forty-five patients were included (373 children and 272 adults); 48 patients fulfilled criteria for monogenic NOD2-related disease (7.4%), 24 of whom had strictures. NOD2 GenePy scores stratified patients in training data into 2 risk groups. Within testing data, 30 of 161 patients (18.6%) were classified as high-risk based on the NOD2 biomarker, with stricturing in 17 of 30 (56.7%). In the low-risk group, 28 of 131 (21.4%) had stricturing behavior. Cox proportional hazards using the NOD2 risk groups demonstrated a hazard ratio (HR) of 2.092 (P = 2.4 × 10-5), between risk groups. Limiting analysis to patients diagnosed aged < 18-years improved performance (HR-3.164, P = 1 × 10-6). Models were modified to include disease location, such as terminal ileal (TI) disease or not. Inclusion of NOD2 risk groups added significant additional utility to prediction models. High-risk group pediatric patients presenting with TI disease had a HR of 4.89 (P = 2.3 × 10-5) compared with the low-risk group patients without TI disease.

Conclusions A NOD2 genomic biomarker predicts stricturing risk, with prognostic power improved in pediatric-onset CD. Implementation into a clinical setting can help personalize management.


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