Mayo Clinic Laboratories > Gastroenterology > Inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease

Comprehensive testing to differentiate, diagnose, and monitor treatment

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is 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, overlapping features are noted. Laboratory testing can assist in pinpointing diagnosis and guide therapy selection for the specific disorder.

Because the goal of IBD treatment is reducing the inflammation triggering signs and symptoms, accurate diagnosis and treatment is essential. Biologic therapies, especially anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) agents, have significantly changed the management of IBD. Therapeutic targets now include both symptom control and sustained control of intestinal inflammation.

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 healthcare 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.

News and updates

The latest


  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. Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2020;5(1):17-30.

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