Increased urinary nitrite, a marker of nitric oxide, in active inflammatory bowel disease

Michael G. Goggins, Syed A. Shah, Jason Goh, Anil Cherukuri, Donal G. Weir, Dermot Kelleher, Nasir Mahmud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Nitric oxide (NO) production is increased in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and measurement of NO metabolites may be useful for monitoring disease activity. Aims and objectives: To characterise urinary nitrite levels, a stable metabolite of NO, in IBD and to evaluate its potential as a marker of disease activity. Methods: Twelve-hour urinary nitrites were measured by the microplate assay method in 46 patients with IBD (active; n = 32). Urinary samples from 16 healthy individuals served as controls. Results: Increased levels of urinary nitrites were found in patients with active IBD compared with those with inactive IBD. Twenty-eight out of 32 patients (87.5%) with active IBD had detectable levels of nitrite in their urine as compared with 2/14 (14.3%) patients with inactive IBD. None of the 16 healthy controls had detectable urinary nitrite. Twelve-hour urinary nitrite in active compared with inactive IBD: 5 ± 0.7 versus 0.1 ± 0.04 μmol (P < 0.05). There was good correlation between urinary nitrite and some markers of disease activity in IBD such as C-reactive protein and microalbuminuria but not with erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Conclusions: Increased levels of nitrite were detected in urine of patients with active IBD, consistent with increased NO synthesis. This simple assay may be exploited as a potential marker of disease activity in IBD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-73
Number of pages5
JournalMediators of inflammation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Nitric oxide
  • Urinary nitrites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology

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