A comprehensive solution
to a challenging diagnosis

Testing for differentiation, diagnosis, and treatment monitoring

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term used to encompass disorders involving chronic intestinal inflammation. These conditions are typically classified as either Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis based on clinical features, colonoscopy findings, histologic changes, and the anatomical distribution of disease. In some cases, however, overlapping features are noted. Common symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, and unintentional weight loss. 

By the numbers

3 million

Americans1 and 6 million to 8 million individuals globally2 have IBD

$31 billion

billion annual financial burden of IBD3 in the U.S.

3.9 million

million prescriptions written for medications to treat IBD in 2010

Striving for testing diversity and equity

At Mayo Clinic Laboratories we understand that genetic variations, both in individuals and certain ethnic groups, present the potential for testing discrepancies. Our focus on testing diversity and equity in health care translates into thoughtful test development that minimizes testing disparities based on genetic makeup. This decreases the overall risk of adverse events related to medical mismanagement.

Biologic therapies: Changing the management of IBD

The goal of inflammatory bowel disease treatment is to reduce the inflammation that triggers your signs and symptoms. In the best cases, this may lead to symptom relief as well as long-term remission and reduced risks of complications.

The introduction of biologics, especially anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) agents, has significantly changed the management of inflammatory bowel disease. Therapeutic targets now include both symptom control and sustained control of intestinal inflammation.

Genetic testing for early onset IBD

Ann Moyer, M.D., Ph.D., gives an overview of the inflammatory bowel disease primary immunodeficiency testing available through Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She discusses when this testing should be ordered, how this testing improves upon previous testing approaches, and what clinical action can be taken due to the results of this testing.

Additional resources

Webinar — Early-Onset IBD: Genetic Testing and Clinical Applications

Identification of early-onset IBD patients may enable tailored treatment and surveillance plans. With over 50 genes implicated in early-onset IBD, genetic testing should be included in the workup of children under the age of six with IBD. Join Mayo Clinic for a discussion of this testing and its clinical application.

Webinar — Safe Treatment of IBD Patients with Thiopurines: TPMT Genotyping and Phenotyping

Thiopurine methyltransferase (TPMT) testing is important in the detection of individuals with altered TPMT activity who are at risk for severe hematopoietic toxicity when taking thiopurine medications (6-mercaptopurine, azathioprine, and 6-thioguanine). This webinar will outline the different tests to detect patients who are at risk for thiopurine-related toxicity and the advantages of each test. It is intended to educate clinicians and increase their confidence when treating patients with thiopurine medications.

Biologic Therapies: Reflexive Approaches to Optimizing Therapy for IBD

Many patients may have flare-ups of their disease, or they may stop responding to treatment. In these situations, the clinician may choose to increase the dose administered or recommend more frequent injections. One cause of decreased response to treatment is the appearance of anti-drug antibodies or “immunogenicity.”


  1. Dahlhamer JM, et al. Prevalence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Among Adults Aged ≥18 Years — United States, 2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:1166–1169.  
  2. Sudabeh A, et al. The global, regional, and national burden of inflammatory bowel disease in 195 countries and territories, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017, The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 2020;5(1):17-30.
  3. Terlizzi, E, et al, Health Care Utilization Among U.S. Adults With Inflammatory Bowel Disease, 2015–2016. National Health Statistics Reports. Feb. 2021;152.