Vitamin D levels have been associated with disease activity in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC), but it is unclear whether they affect the risk of disease relapse.
Dr John Gubatan and colleagues from Massachusetts, USA determined the association between baseline vitamin D levels during a period of clinical remission, and risk of subsequent UC relapse.
The researchers performed a physician-blinded prospective study of 70 patients with UC in clinical remission followed up after a surveillance colonoscopy at a tertiary academic medical center.
Serum samples were collected at the time of colonoscopy and baseline endoscopic and histologic activity were determined.
|A serum level of 35 ng/mL or less had a sensitivity of 70% for predicting risk of clinical relapse|
|Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
Levels of 25-hydroxy-vitamin D were measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
The researchers' primary outcome was rate of clinical relapse, determined over 12 months.
The team found that mean baseline vitamin D level was lower among patients with relapse than without.
The research team noted that remission vitamin D level was associated with a risk of clinical relapse over 12 months, independent of endoscopic or histologic grade at enrollment.
A receiver operating characteristic curve of vitamin D levels for the outcome of relapse had an area under the curve of 0.72.
The team observed that a serum level of 35 ng/mL or less had a sensitivity of 70%, and a specificity of 74% for predicting risk of clinical relapse.
Dr Gubatan's team comments, "Serum levels of vitamin D of 35 ng/mL or less during periods of clinical remission increase the risk of UC relapse."
"Clinical trials to obtain vitamin D levels higher than this threshold should be considered."