Assessment of the neutrophil dominating protein calprotectin in feces. A methodologic study

Scand J Gastroenterol. 1992 Sep;27(9):793-8. doi: 10.3109/00365529209011186.


This study describes methods for extraction and quantification of calprotectin (L1 protein) in feces by enzyme immunoassay. This protein is a prominent antimicrobial component of neutrophils, monocytes, macrophages, and squamous epithelia. Calprotectin was stable in feces during storage for 7 days at room temperature. Small fecal samples taken from a 24-h feces collection gave a reliable estimate of calprotectin. Within-assay precision was 1.9%, and between-assay precision 14.8%. In healthy subjects (n = 33) median fecal calprotectin was 2025 micrograms/l and in hospital controls (n = 40) 10,500 micrograms/l. Median values in patients with Crohn's disease (n = 21) was 43,000 micrograms/l and in ulcerative colitis (n = 17) 40,000 micrograms/l. Fecal calprotectin was significantly correlated to fecal alpha 1-antitrypsin in the patients with Crohn's disease. Ten of 11 patients with gastrointestinal carcinomas had calprotectin level above the suggested reference limit of 6740 micrograms/l.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antigens, Surface / analysis
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal / analysis*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / metabolism
  • Crohn Disease / metabolism
  • Feces / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Leukocyte L1 Antigen Complex
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Antigens, Surface
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal
  • Leukocyte L1 Antigen Complex