What is the role of stool culture in the diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?

Updated: Apr 10, 2020
  • Author: William A Rowe, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Before making a definitive diagnosis of idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), perform a stool culture, ova and parasite studies, bacterial pathogens culture, and evaluation for Clostridium difficile infection. [3] At a minimum, a C difficile toxin assay should be performed on any patient hospitalized with a flare of colitis, or in any patient not responding to appropriate medical intervention, because pseudomembranous colitis is commonly superimposed on IBD colitis. Note that the level of the inflammatory marker calprotectin in feces correlates significantly with colonic inflammation in both ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease. [62]


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