Background: In Crohn's disease (CD), 10% to 40% of patients do not respond to anti-tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) treatment. Currently, there are no biomarkers with adequate sensitivity to separate responders from nonresponders at an early stage.

Aim: The aim of this study was to investigated whether early changes in the VICM (citrullinated and matrix metalloproteinase-degraded vimentin) biomarker were associated with response to anti-TNFα treatment in patients with CD.

Methods: Serum VICM levels were measured by ELISA in 2 independent cohorts of CD patients (n=42) treated with anti-TNFα (infliximab or adalimumab). Response was determined by achieving clinical remission (Harvey Bradshaw Index<5).

Results: Compared with baseline, VICM serum levels were reduced by anti-TNFα in the infliximab cohort (week 6 and 14) and in the adalimumab cohort (week 8). VICM was lower in the responders compared with the nonresponders [infliximab: week 6, P<0.05; area under the curve (AUC)=0.90; adalimumab: week 1, P<0.01 (AUC=0.91), and week 8, P<0.05 (AUC=0.86)], and were able to predict response to treatment after 1 week of treatment with an odds ratio of 42.5.

Conclusions: The VICM biomarker was time dependently reduced in CD patients responding to anti-TNFα treatment. We suggest that VICM may be used as a marker for monitoring early response to anti-TNFα in patients with CD.