Gut protein loss is a characteristic of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and immunoglobulin (Ig) G, albumin and α1-antitrypsin concentrations in whole gut lavage fluid (WGLF) correlate with clinical disease activity. If inflammation in ileoanal pouches is similar to IBD, then measurement of protein-losing enteropathy by analysis of WGLF may provide an objective assessment of disease activity in pouches.


Forty-two patients who had restorative proctocolectomy for ulcerative colitis underwent whole gut lavage with a polyethylene glycol–electrolyte solution. The first clear effluent was filtered, processed by the addition of protease inhibitors and stored at −70°C. IgG, albumin and α1-antitrypsin were assayed in WGLF. The Pouchitis Disease Activity Index (PDAI) was calculated after pouchoscopy and biopsy; the Moskowitz criteria for pouchitis were also applied.


There was a significant correlation of the pouchoscopy score and the PDAI with the concentration of WGLF IgG. All patients with ‘pouchitis’ according to the Moskowitz criteria had a WGLF IgG concentration greater than 10 μg/ml. The WGLF albumin level also showed a significant correlation with the PDAI, but α1-antitrypsin concentration did not.


Analysis of WGLF for IgG and albumin may be useful in the assessment of disease activity in pouch inflammation. © 2000 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd