Today Faecal Calprotectin or (fecal calprotectin), is one of the new and available methods for evaluating inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (inflammation of the large intestine) and….
This non-invasive method allows us to be informed of inflammatory bowel diseases in time and start the appropriate treatment.
If the protein in the stool sample exceeds a certain amount, it indicates inflammation in the intestines.
What is stool calprotectin?
Calprotectin is a protein that occurs naturally within certain types of white blood cells (neutrophils and monocytes), When during an inflammatory disease these white blood cells attach to the cells of the intestinal wall, the calprotectin protein comes out of them and leaks out.
Calprotectin enters the intestinal tract and is excreted in the feces, so if there is an inflammatory process in the intestines, for the reasons mentioned above, the fecal calprotectin will increase dramatically.
It should be noted; however, that calprotectin in the blood, spinal fluid, and other body fluids will also increase during inflammation.
Stool calprotectin is both an aid to diagnosis and a means of evaluating the response to treatment and monitoring of inflammatory bowel disease and gastrointestinal cancers.
This method is widely used in the Scandinavian countries and the United Kingdom, but in many other countries it is not easily accessible.
In what cases does fecal calprotectin increase?
The following can lead to an increase in calprotectin:
- Inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (stomach and intestines)
- Inflammatory bowel disease: (IBD)
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Digestive cancers
In these cases, increased stool calprotectin is both diagnostic and used to assess the response to IBD treatment.
In all of the above cases, an increase in fecal calprotectin will be active due to inflammation.
What are the conditions for collecting stool to measure calprotectin?
- No special measures are required before sampling and stool samples should be taken randomly.
- The required volume of feces is about five to ten grams.
- The sample should be stored in a stool sterile container with a lid.
- The time and date of sampling should be written on the container.
- It is best to keep the sample in the freezer at minus 20 degrees Celsius (before testing).
- The sample is stable at room temperature for up to five days and at minus 20 degrees Celsius for about a month.
What level of fecal calprotectin indicates IBD?
If the stool concentration of calprotectin exceeds 1.120 micrograms per gram of stool, it may be a sign of active inflammation in the intestines and gastrointestinal tract.
What is the normal range for fecal calprotectin?
Ten to sixty micrograms per milligram of feces
The final word
It should be noted that fecal calprotectin does not increase in patients with IBS.
Studies and research show that calprotectin can also have bacteriostatic effects (attenuation of bacterial activity).
In Some studies suggest that calprotectin may have cytotoxic (cell-killing) effects on some gastrointestinal cancer cells.
Although stool calprotectin testing is not available everywhere, studies are ongoing to learn more about this protein.