Clinical utility of fecal calprotectin: potential applications beyond inflammatory bowel disease for the primary care physician
Fecal calprotectin (FC) is an inflammatory marker released mainly from gastrointestinal granulocytes measured in stool samples. FC is noninvasive, economical, simple, and acceptable for patients. Levels of FC have proven reliable for intestinal inflammation, with good clinical sensitivity, and are useful in screening and monitoring inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), as well as in the differential diagnosis between IBD and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Given its advantages, FC represents an attractive biomarker that could be utilized in various gastrointestinal (GI) diseases apart from IBD, and is currently being studied extensively by many research groups with significant amounts of data emerging. In this current review we aim to provide an outline of the utility of FC in distinguishing between IBS and IBD, as well as an up-to-date summary of the available clinical experience concerning FC in various common conditions of the GI tract commonly encountered by gastroenterology practitioners, such as IBS, microscopic colitis, acute gastroenteritis, Clostridium difficile infection, colorectal cancer, diverticular disease, coeliac disease, and other GI conditions.
Keywords Fecal calprotectin, potential clinical application, non-inflammatory bowel disease
Ann Gastroenterol 2019; 32 (5): 425-430