Ruling out IBD: estimation of the possible economic effects of pre-endoscopic screening with F-calprotectin

Clin Biochem. 2012 May;45(7-8):552-5. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2011.10.015. Epub 2011 Oct 26.


Objectives: To estimate the possible economic effects of a sequential testing strategy with F-calprotectin to minimize colonoscopies.

Design and methods: Retrospective study in a third party payer perspective. The costs were calculated from initial F-calprotectin test results of 3639 patients. Two cut-off levels were used: 50 μg/g feces and 100 μg/g feces, respectively. The cost-effectiveness of the testing strategy was estimated through the short-term cost avoidance and reduction in demand for colonoscopies.

Results: The estimated demand for colonoscopies was reduced by 50% with the 50 μg/g cut-off and 67% with the 100 μg/g cut-off. This corresponded to a cost avoidance of approximately €1.57 million and €2.13 million, respectively.

Conclusions: The use of F-calprotectin as a screening test substantially could reduce the number of invasive measurements necessary in the diagnostic work-up of patients with suspected IBD, as well as the associated costs.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Colonoscopy / economics*
  • Colonoscopy / statistics & numerical data
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / economics
  • Leukocyte L1 Antigen Complex / analysis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Unnecessary Procedures
  • Young Adult


  • Leukocyte L1 Antigen Complex