Fecal calprotectin concentrations in alcoholic patients: a longitudinal study

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2011 Jan;23(1):76-80. doi: 10.1097/MEG.0b013e32834101f9.


Objectives: Excessive alcohol consumption often results in intestinal damage, mediated by inflammatory processes, mainly characterized by an increased influx of leukocytes. Fecal calprotectin is a granulocyte cytosolic protein, representing as a promising marker of subclinical intestinal inflammation. In this study, we assessed fecal calprotectin concentrations (FCCs) in current drinking alcoholics, both at the baseline, and then during a subsequent 84-day period. Moreover, FCCs in the alcoholics were compared with the FCCs in healthy controls.

Methods: Twenty-eight, active-drinking alcoholics were enrolled in this study and compared with 40 healthy volunteers as the control group. In alcoholics, FCCs were determined at the beginning of the study (baseline; T0) and then every 2 weeks (T1-T6) during the following 84-day period. Potential differences in FCCs were analyzed between alcoholics and healthy controls, and during the 84-day period within the group of alcoholics. In addition, an analysis of FCCs was conducted in three subgroups of alcoholics, considering their drinking status during the 84-day period (abstinent, relapsed, and active).

Results: At baseline, no significant differences in median FCCs were found between alcoholics and controls. No significant changes of median FCCs were found, comparing baseline FCCs and FCCs during the 84-day period (T1-T6) in the whole group of alcoholics, nor in the three subgroups of alcoholics.

Conclusion: FCCs in active-drinking alcoholics are not significantly different, compared with the healthy controls. Moreover, FCCs do not significantly differ according to the alcohol drinking status. These results may suggest the absence of a subclinal intestinal inflammation involving neutrophils in the alcoholics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Alcoholics*
  • Alcoholism / complications*
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Feces / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Intestinal Diseases / etiology
  • Leukocyte L1 Antigen Complex / analysis*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Leukocyte L1 Antigen Complex