What is the role of fecal calprotectin levels in the diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?

Updated: Oct 17, 2017
  • Author: William A Rowe, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Fecal calprotectin has been proposed as a noninvasive surrogate marker of intestinal inflammation in IBD. [57] As colorectal neoplasia and gastrointestinal infection also increase fecal calprotectin, this marker is not in widespread use. Note that relatives of patients with IBD may also have elevated levels of fecal calprotectin (with unknown degrees of inflammation). [57]

A study by Henderson et al indicated that fecal calprotectin has a high sensitivity and modest specificity for diagnosing IBD in children. The researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 8 studies including 394 pediatric IBD cases and 321 non-IBD controls. [58, 59] The use of fecal calprotectin during the investigation of suspected pediatric IBD was associated with a pooled sensitivity of 97.8%, a pooled specificity of 68.2%, a positive likelihood ratio of 3.07, and a negative likelihood ratio of 0.03.


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