Fecal calprotectin is a useful marker for disease activity in pediatric patients with inflammatory bowel disease

Dig Dis Sci. 2011 Aug;56(8):2372-7. doi: 10.1007/s10620-011-1633-y. Epub 2011 Mar 11.


Background: Studies evaluating the correlation between endoscopic disease activity and noninvasive markers are scarce in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Aim: The aim of this study is to evaluate the accuracy of the fecal calprotectin (FC) assay as a marker of disease activity of IBD, as determined by an extensive endoscopic scoring system.

Methods: Thirty-five children and adolescents with IBD [17 with ulcerative colitis (UC) and 18 with Crohn's disease (CD)] and 28 healthy volunteers were enrolled. FC levels were determined by ELISA. The sum of Matts' score for UC and the simple endoscopic score for Crohn's disease (SES-CD) were used. The ileal lesions were evaluated by ultrasonography.

Results: In UC patients, there was a strong correlation between FC levels and the sum of Matts' score (r=0.838, p<0.01). FC levels were significantly elevated in endoscopically active patients (median 1,562.5 μg/g) as compared to patients in endoscopic remission (median 38.9 μg/g) or healthy controls (median 19.9 μg/g). In CD patients, there was a strong correlation between FC levels and the SES-CD score (r=0.760, p<0.01). The FC levels were significantly higher in endoscopically active patients (median 2,037.5 μg/g) than in endoscopically inactive patients (median 172.5 μg/g) or healthy controls (median 19.9 μg/g), respectively. The FC levels of patients with ileal wall thickening (median 2,225.0 μg/g) were significantly higher than healthy controls (median 19.9 μg/g) and patients lacking ileal wall thickening (median 17.5 μg/g), respectively.

Conclusions: The FC assay is a useful marker for the detection of mucosal inflammation in pediatric IBD patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Child
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal
  • Feces / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ileal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Ileal Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Intestinal Mucosa / ultrastructure
  • Leukocyte L1 Antigen Complex / analysis*
  • Male
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Ultrasonography


  • Biomarkers
  • Leukocyte L1 Antigen Complex