Faecal calprotectin in children with chronic gastrointestinal symptoms

Acta Paediatr. 2005 Dec;94(12):1855-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2005.tb01870.x.


Aims: Faecal calprotectin, a neutrophil cytosolic protein, is raised in inflammatory bowel disease. We assessed this investigation in evaluating children with chronic intestinal symptoms.

Methods: Stool samples from 100 children aged 5-17 years (referrals to the regional paediatric gastroenterology service) were tested using a commercially available kit.

Results: Calprotectin was higher in inflammatory bowel disease than normal children (p<0.0001) or in those with functional constipation (p<0.0001). The overall specificity for organic bowel disorders was 85%. Calprotectin correlated with C-reactive protein in inflammatory bowel disease (p=0.001), and clinical disease activity in ulcerative colitis (p=0.017), but not with disease activity in Crohn's disease.

Conclusion: Raised faecal calprotectin should prompt further assessment in children with chronic intestinal symptoms, since an organic bowel disorder is likely. However, calprotectin cannot be regarded as a specific test for idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Feces / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / diagnosis
  • Leukocyte L1 Antigen Complex / analysis*
  • Male


  • Leukocyte L1 Antigen Complex