Objective: To assess the effectiveness of the combined use of fecal calprotectin (FC), anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibody (ASCA), perinuclear staining antineutrophil antibody (pANCA), small intestinal permeability test (IP), and bowel wall ultrasonography measurement (BWUS) in the diagnostic work-up of children with suspected inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Methods: All children referred for initial assessment of possible IBD were eligible. Patients with symptoms or signs (right-lower quadrant mass, perianal disease, or hematochezia) mandating a complete work-up for IBD were excluded. All enrolled patients underwent a clinical, laboratory, radiographic, and endoscopic evaluation including biopsy examinations. The immunoglobulin (Ig)G and IgA ASCA, IgG pANCA, FC, IP, and BWUS were tested in all patients at the initial assessment.
Results: A final diagnosis of IBD was made in 27 patients: 17 Crohn disease and 10 ulcerative colitis. Eighteen children had other gastrointestinal diagnoses (8 functional bowel disorders, 5 food allergy-mediated diseases, 4 infectious enterocolitis, 1 familial Mediterranean fever). In patients with simultaneous abnormal values of FC, BWUS, and ASCA/pANCA, the estimated probability of having IBD was 99.47%. Patients with negative results on all tests had a 0.69% of probability of IBD.
Conclusions: The incorporation of noninvasive diagnostic tests into the initial diagnostic approach may avoid unnecessary invasive procedures and facilitate clinical decision-making when the diagnosis of IBD in children is initially uncertain.