Correlation of faecal calprotectin and lactoferrin with an endoscopic score for Crohn's disease and histological findings

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Nov 15;28(10):1221-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2008.03835.x. Epub 2008 Aug 26.


Background: Faecal calprotectin and lactoferrin increasingly serve as surrogate markers of disease activity in IBD. Data on the correlation of these markers with simple endoscopic score for Crohn's disease (SES-CD) and with histological findings are as yet limited. Aim To study the correlation of faecal calprotectin and lactoferrin with SES-CD and histology.

Methods: During 87 consecutive ileocolonoscopies, SES-CD was calculated and biopsy specimens were obtained from the ileum, colon and rectum. Faecal calprotectin and lactoferrin were measured.

Results: In ileocolonic or colonic disease, both faecal calprotectin and lactoferrin correlated significantly with colon SES-CD (P < 0.001) and colon histology (P < 0.001). In patients with normal calprotectin or lactoferrin levels, endoscopic and histology scores were significantly lower than in those with elevated concentrations (P < 0.001). In ileal CD, ileal SES-CD correlated with histology (P < 0.001), but not with faecal calprotectin (P = 0.161) or lactoferrin (P = 0.448).

Conclusion: In ileocolonic and colonic disease, endoscopic score SES-CD and histological findings correlated significantly with faecal calprotectin and lactoferrin. A normal faecal-marker concentration was a reliable surrogate marker for endoscopically and histologically inactive CD. Ileal endoscopic score and histological findings failed, however, to correlate with faecal markers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers
  • Crohn Disease / diagnosis*
  • Crohn Disease / pathology
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal
  • Feces / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lactoferrin / analysis*
  • Leukocyte L1 Antigen Complex / analysis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Leukocyte L1 Antigen Complex
  • Lactoferrin