Objective: Calprotectin is a granulocyte cytosolic protein that is considered to be a promising marker of subclinical inflammation. High faecal calprotectin concentrations (FCCs) have been found in several intestinal diseases, but no data are currently available on patients with coeliac disease. The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate FCCs in untreated coeliac patients and to correlate them with clinical score and histological characteristics.
Material and methods: Twenty-eight consecutive coeliac patients were recruited. Thirty healthy adult volunteers participated as the control group. FCCs were determined by ELISA. Clinical assessment was carried out in all patients. The histological severity of lesions and the infiltration of neutrophil polymorphs in the intestinal mucosa were also evaluated. Mean FCCs in patients and the control group were compared by means of the t-test for independent samples. In coeliac patients, differences in FCCs in subgroups identified by clinical score, lesion severity and neutrophil infiltration were evaluated by the Kruskal-Wallis non-parametric test.
Results: FCCs in untreated coeliac patients were not significantly different from those in controls (p=0.163). Among coeliac patients, FCCs were not significantly different in relation to the level of clinical score, lesion severity or neutrophil infiltration (p=0.92, p=0.96 and p=0.74, respectively).
Conclusions: This study shows, for the first time, that FCCs in untreated coeliac patients do not differ significantly from those in controls.