Measurement of plasma calprotectin as an indicator of arthritis and disease activity in patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases

J Rheumatol. 1994 Apr;21(4):733-8.


Objective: To investigate if the plasma level of the granulocyte protein calprotectin is a useful indicator of severity of arthritis in patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases, and to analyze which factors contribute to the raised plasma calprotectin levels.

Methods: Plasma calprotectin levels were measured by ELISA: In a cross sectional study of 154 patients with various inflammatory rheumatic diseases, calprotectin levels were correlated with laboratory and clinical variables.

Results: The plasma levels of calprotectin and C-reactive protein (CRP) correlated significantly with the clinical evaluation of swollen joints (r = 0.51, p < or = 0.01 and r = 0.29, p < or = 0.01, respectively). Calprotectin levels, but not CRP levels or erythrocyte sedimentation rate, were significantly lower in patients with no swollen joints than in patients with one or more swollen joints (2613.6 micrograms/l vs 6287.0 micrograms/l, p < 0.001). A significant correlation between calprotectin and number of neutrophils was demonstrated (r = 0.43, p < or = 0.01), indicating that circulating neutrophils contribute to plasma calprotectin levels.

Conclusion: The plasma calprotectin level may be a useful indicator of arthritis in inflammatory rheumatic diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthritis / blood*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / blood
  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Sedimentation
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / blood*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Leukocyte L1 Antigen Complex
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutrophils
  • Rheumatic Diseases / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal
  • Leukocyte L1 Antigen Complex
  • C-Reactive Protein