Fecal calprotectin is a useful marker to diagnose ulcerative colitis from irritable bowel syndrome


1 Department of Gastroenterology, Isfahan Liver Disease Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

3 Department of Infectious Diseases, Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: This study was aimed to evaluate the predictive value of fecal calprotectin in patients with ulcerative colitis from patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Materials and Methods: Between May and October 2013, 88 adult patients, between the age 18 and 65 years with a history of chronic diarrhea of unknown origin were assessed. Standard colonoscopies were performed in all patients to assess ulcerative colitis. Before colonoscopies, they were asked to supply a stool specimen. Fecal calprotectin value was measured using a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit.
Results: The mean of age, gender combination, and body mass index were not significantly different between patients with ulcerative colitis or IBS. The duration of disease in ulcerative colitis patients was significantly higher than IBS patients (P < 0.0001). The level of calprotectin in ulcerative colitis patients was significantly higher than IBS patients (265.9 vs 115.8, respectively, P = 0.001). Also, cutoff value >164 μg/g with sensitivity and specify of 57 (CI: 41%-71.6%), and 75 (CI: 59.7%-56.8%), respectively, was the best for discrimination between patients with ulcerative colitis and those with IBS.
Conclusion: Our results show that fecal calprotectin as a noninvasive method, which can be used to identify patients with ulcerative colitis from IBS patients has low sensitivity and specificity.


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