Mesalamine dose escalation reduces fecal calprotectin in patients with quiescent ulcerative colitis

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014 Nov;12(11):1887-93.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2014.03.035. Epub 2014 Apr 30.


Background & aims: Among patients with quiescent ulcerative colitis (UC), lower fecal concentrations of calprotectin are associated with lower rates of relapse. We performed an open-label, randomized controlled trial to investigate whether increasing doses of mesalamine reduce concentrations of fecal calprotectin (FC) in patients with quiescent UC.

Methods: We screened 119 patients with UC in remission on the basis of Simple Clinical Colitis Activity Index scores, FC >50 μg/g, and intake of no more than 3 g/day mesalamine. Participants taking mesalamine formulations other than multimatrix mesalamine were switched to multimatrix mesalamine (2.4 g/day) for 6 weeks; 52 participants were then randomly assigned (1:1) to a group that continued its current dose of mesalamine (controls, n = 26) or a group that increased its dose by 2.4 g/day for 6 weeks (n = 26). The primary outcome was continued remission with FC <50 μg/g. Secondary outcomes were continued remission with FC <100 μg/g or <200 μg/g (among patients with pre-randomization values above these levels).

Results: The primary outcome was achieved by 3.8% of controls and 26.9% of the dose escalation group (P = .0496). More patients in the dose escalation group reduced FC to below 100 μg/g (P = .04) and 200 μg/g (P = .005). Among the patients who were still in remission after the randomization phase, clinical relapse occurred sooner in patients with FC >200 μg/g compared with those with FC <200 μg/g (P = .01).

Conclusions: Among patients with quiescent UC and increased levels of FC, increasing the dose of mesalamine by 2.4 g/day reduced fecal concentrations of calprotectin to those associated with lower rates of relapse. number: NCT00652145.

Keywords: 5 Aminosalicylate; 5-ASA; Biomarker; MMX; Natural History.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / administration & dosage*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / drug therapy*
  • Feces / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte L1 Antigen Complex / analysis*
  • Male
  • Mesalamine / administration & dosage*
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Leukocyte L1 Antigen Complex
  • Mesalamine

Associated data