Fecal calprotectin is a validated screening test for intestinal inflammation in Crohn's disease.
Dr Arie Levine and colleagues from Israel prospectively evaluated the limitations of fecal calprotectin for identifying Crohn's disease in newly diagnosed untreated pediatric patients.
In addition, the team assessed the association of fecal calprotectin levels with disease location and serum inflammatory markers.
Consecutive children with new onset untreated Crohn's disease participating in the ongoing ESPGHAN GROWTH Crohn's disease study were evaluated at diagnosis for disease activity, extent, C-reactive protein (CRP), and fecal calprotectin.
In all, 60 children met the inclusion criteria, 25 with mild disease, 17 with moderate disease, and 18 with severe disease.
|Fecal calprotectin was elevated in 95% of patients|
|Inflammatory Bowel Diseases|
The researchers found that 45% had small bowel disease only.
Median fecal calprotectin levels did not differ between children with small bowel only, and those with colonic involvement.
The research team found that fecal calprotectin was elevated in 95% of patients, in comparison to CRP and erythrocyte sedimentation rate.
The team noted that 5% of children who had normal calprotectin levels also had low or normal CRP and/or ESR.
The researchers observed no correlation between calprotectin levels and either the pediatric Crohn's disease activity index or physicians global assessment.
Dr Levine's team concludes, "Fecal calprotectin levels in active disease confined to the small bowel were elevated in the vast majority of children and site of disease was not a confounding factor in this setting."
"Patients with low fecal calprotectin had a trend toward low levels of inflammatory markers as well."
"We did not find a significant correlation between fecal calprotectin and clinical indices of activity."