Fecal calprotectin and clinical disease activity in pediatric ulcerative colitis

ISRN Gastroenterol. 2013;2013:179024. doi: 10.1155/2013/179024. Epub 2013 Feb 26.


Objective. To explore fecal calprotectin levels in pediatric ulcerative colitis (UC) in relation with the validated clinical activity index PUCAI. Methods. This study included all 37 children (median age 14 years) with UC who had calprotectin measured (PhiCal ELISA Test) by the time of PUCAI assessment at the Children's Hospital of Helsinki in a total of 62 visits. Calprotectin values <100 μ g/g of stool were considered as normal. The best cut-off value of each measure to predict 3-month clinical outcome was derived by maximizing sensitivity and specificity. Results. In clinically active disease (PUCAI ≥ 10), calprotectin was elevated in 29/32 patients (91% sensitivity). When in clinical remission, 26% (8/30) of the children had normal calprotectin but 7 (23%) had an exceedingly high level (>1000 μ g/g). The best cut-off value for calprotectin for predicting poor outcome was 800 μ g/g (sensitivity 73%, specificity 72%; area under the ROC curve being 0.71 (95%CI 0.57-0.85)) and for the PUCAI best cut-off values >10 (sensitivity 62%, specificity 64%; area under the ROC curve 0.714 (95%CI 0.58-0.85)). Conclusion. The clinical relevance of somewhat elevated calprotectin during clinical remission in pediatric UC is not known and, until further evidence accumulates, does not indicate therapy escalation.