Publications by authors named "Anne Kerstin Thomann"

5 Publications

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Exploring joint patterns of brain structure and function in inflammatory bowel diseases using multimodal data fusion.

Neurogastroenterol Motil 2020 Dec 28:e14078. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

Department of General Psychiatry, Center for Psychosocial Medicine, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: A growing number of neuroimaging studies suggest distinct neural changes in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). Whether such changes may show similar spatial patterns across distinct neural features within and between specific IBD is unclear. To address this question, we used multivariate multimodal data fusion analysis to investigate structure/function modulation in remitted patients with Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC).

Methods: Patients with IBD (n = 46; n = 31 with CD, n = 15 with UC) in stable remission and 17 healthy controls (HC) underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI) and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) as well as cognitive testing. Anxiety, depression, and fatigue were assessed using self-rating questionnaires. sMRI data were analyzed via voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and rs-fMRI data via amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFFs) and regional homogeneity (ReHo). Detection of cross-information between VBM, ALFF, and ReHo was conducted by means of a joint independent component analysis (jICA), followed by group-inference statistics.

Key Results: Joint independent component analysis detected structural alterations in middle frontal and temporal regions (VBM), and functional changes in the superior frontal gyrus (ReHo) and the medial as well as inferior frontal, inferior temporal, rectal, and subcallosal gyrus (ALFF). One joint component of extracted features of the three modalities differed significantly between IBD patients and controls (p = 0.03), and most distinctly between HC and patients with UC.

Conclusions And Inferences: Using a multivariate data fusion technique, this study provides further evidence to brain alterations in IBD. The data suggest distinct neural differences between CD and UC, particularly in frontotemporal regions.
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December 2020

Ustekinumab Inhibits T Follicular Helper Cell Differentiation in Patients With Crohn's Disease.

Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol 2021 15;11(1):1-12. Epub 2020 Jul 15.

Department of Medicine II, University Medical Center Freiburg, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany. Electronic address:

Background & Aims: The pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn's disease [CD] and ulcerative colitis) involves dysregulated TH1 and TH17 cell responses, which can be targeted therapeutically by the monoclonal antibody Ustekinumab directed against the joint p40 subunit of IL-12 and IL-23. These cytokines may also regulate the differentiation of T follicular helper (TFH) cells, which promote B cell function in germinal centers. However, the role of TFH cells in CD pathogenesis and impact of Ustekinumab therapy on TFH cell fate in patients are poorly defined.

Methods: Lymphocytes were isolated from peripheral blood (n=45) and intestinal biopsies (n=15) of CD patients or healthy controls (n=21) and analyzed by flow cytometry to assess TFH cell phenotypes and functions ex vivo. In addition, TFH cell differentiation was analyzed in the presence of Ustekinumab in vitro.

Results: TFH cell frequencies in the intestine as well as peripheral blood were associated with endoscopic as well as biochemical evidence of CD activity. CD patients with clinical response to Ustekinumab, but not those with response to anti-TNF antibodies, displayed reduced frequencies of circulating TFH cells in a concentration-dependent manner while the TFH phenotype was not affected by Ustekinumab therapy. In keeping with this notion, TFH cell differentiation was inhibited by Ustekinumab in vitro while TFH cell maintenance was not affected. Moreover, Ustekinumab therapy resulted in reduced germinal center activity in CD patients in vivo.

Conclusions: These data implicate TFH cells in the pathogenesis of CD and indicate that Ustekinumab therapy affects TFH cell differentiation, which may influence TFH-mediated immune functions in UST-treated CD patients.
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July 2020

Ustekinumab serum concentrations are associated with clinical outcomes in Crohn's disease - a regional multi-center pilot study.

Z Gastroenterol 2020 May 11;58(5):439-444. Epub 2020 Feb 11.

Department of Medicine II, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.

Background And Aim:  The role of therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) in ustekinumab (UST) therapy for Crohn's disease (CD) has not been established, as only few studies have analyzed the relationship between UST serum concentrations and clinical outcome. In this pilot study, we retrospectively examined the potential of UST-concentrations (cUST) 8 weeks after induction (cUSTw8) to predict clinical response at week 16.

Methods:  Serum samples and clinical data from patients (n = 72) with moderate to severely active CD who received intravenous induction with UST were retrospectively analyzed. cUST were quantitated using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MSMS). A receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve and area under ROC curve (AUROC) was computed to analyze the predictive potential of cUSTw8 for clinical response at week 16 and to determine the minimal therapeutic UST trough concentration.

Results:  Forty-four patients (61 %) achieved clinical response to UST therapy at week 16. cUSTw8 was moderately effective to predict clinical response with a minimal therapeutic cUSTw8 of 2.0 mg/l (AUC 0.72, p = 0.001).

Conclusion:  Trough concentrations of UST 8 weeks after induction predict clinical response to therapy in week 16 with moderate sensitivity and specificity. TDM using LC-MSMS could prove beneficial in personalized UST therapy of patients with CD by identifying individuals with subtherapeutic concentrations who might benefit from dose escalation.
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May 2020

Reducing Perioperative Risks of Surgery in Crohn's Disease.

Visc Med 2019 Dec 12;35(6):348-354. Epub 2019 Nov 12.

Abteilung für Allgemein- und Viszeralchirurgie, Theresienkrankenhaus und St. Hedwig-Klinik GmbH Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany.

Background: Approximately one-third of all patients suffering from Crohn's disease (CD) undergo surgery within the first 10 years after diagnosis and another 20% will have a second operation in the 10 years after their first operation. Surgery will remain an essential part of managing CD and therefore it is crucial to prevent perioperative complications by optimizing perioperative management.

Methods: We reviewed the current literature on managing immunomodulating therapy, nutritional support, and thromboembolic prophylaxis in the perioperative situation.

Results: CD patients with serious nutritional deficits (weight loss >10% in the last 3-6 months, body mass index <18.5 kg/m2, or albumin levels <30 g/L) benefit from intensive enteral or parenteral nutritional support, thereby reducing the risk of surgical-site infections and post-operative septic complications. Immunosuppressive therapy with prednisolone doses >20 mg should be avoided. The risk of therapy with anti-TNFα agents, vedolizumab, and ustekinumab for surgical complications has not been fully established. Analysis of currently available data suggests that an interval of 4-8 weeks is prudent to avoid complications and reduce risk by performing protective ostomy in the emergency setting. Finally, due to the high risk of venous thromboembolism, prophylactic therapy with heparin is recommended.

Conclusion: As most cases of CD-related surgery are performed in a non-emergency setting, careful planning and risk management can reduce the rate of surgical complications, increase quality of life, and also reduce costs.
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December 2019

Brain structure in preclinical Huntington's disease: a multi-method approach.

Neurodegener Dis 2013 17;12(1):13-22. Epub 2012 Aug 17.

Center of Psychosocial Medicine, Department of General Psychiatry, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: Structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain could be a powerful tool for discovering early biomarkers in clinically presymptomatic carriers of the Huntington's disease gene mutation (preHD). So far, structural changes have been found mainly in preHD approaching the estimated motor onset of the disease (i.e., less than 15 years from onset), whereas structural findings in preHD far from the estimated motor onset have been inconclusive.

Objectives: The aims of this study were to investigate the sensitivity of different methodological approaches to structural data in far-from-onset preHD (mean estimated time to motor onset = 21.4 years) and to explore the relationship between brain structure, clinical variables and cognition.

Methods: High-resolution MRI data at 3 T were obtained from 20 preHD individuals and 20 healthy participants and subsequently analyzed using voxel-based morphometry (VBM), cortical surface modeling and subcortical segmentation analysis techniques.

Results: VBM analyses did not reveal significant between-group differences, whereas cortical surface modeling and subcortical segmentation analyses showed significant regional cortical thinning and striatal changes in preHD compared to controls. Significant correlations were found between striatal structure, estimated time to motor onset and executive performance, whereas cortical changes were not significantly correlated with these parameters.

Conclusion: These data suggest that a combined methodological approach to structural MRI data could increase the sensitivity for detecting subtle neurobiological changes in early preHD. As consistently shown across different methods, the association between striatal structure and clinical measures supports the notion that changes in striatal volume could represent a more robust marker of disease progression than cortical changes.
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January 2014