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Can faecal calprotectin predict relapse in inflammatory bowel disease: A mini review

Lookup NU author(s): Dr John Mansfield


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Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic inflammatory disorders affecting the gastrointestinal tract. Faecal calprotectin is a protein complex of the S-100 family of calciumbinding proteins present in inflammatory cells that can be measured in stool samples, which act as a biomarker for bowel inflammation. Elevated faecal calprotectin has been shown to reflect the presence of ongoing mucosal inflammation, which improves with mucosal healing. The aim of this review was to evaluate the available evidence on the ability of faecal calprotectin to predict a relapse in inflammatory bowel disease. Multiple retrospective studies have shown that patients who relapse have significantly higher levels of calprotectin in their stool compared with nonrelapsers, especially in ulcerative colitis. Elevated faecal calprotectin postoperatively in Crohn's disease was also shown to be indicative of a relapse. However, the association of a raised faecal calprotectin and relapse is not universal and may be explained by the different patterns of mucosal inflammatory activity that exist. In conclusion, we put forward our hypothesis that changes such as a rise in faecal calprotectin levels may be more predictive of a relapse than absolute values.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chew TS, Mansfield JC

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Frontline Gastroenterology

Year: 2018

Volume: 9

Issue: 1

Pages: 23-28

Online publication date: 08/12/2017

Acceptance date: 11/03/2016

ISSN (print): 2041-4137

ISSN (electronic): 2041-4145

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1136/flgastro-2016-100686