Faecal calprotectin

W. P.N.Ganga W. Pathirana, S. A. Paul Chubb, Melissa J. Gillett, Samuel D. Vasikaran

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Calprotectin is a calcium- and zinc-binding protein of the S-100 protein family which is mainly found within neutrophils and throughout the human body. The presence of calprotectin in faeces is a consequence of neutrophil migration into the gastrointestinal tissue due to an inflammatory process. Faecal calprotectin concentrations demonstrate good correlation with intestinal inflammation and faecal calprotectin is used as a biomarker in gastrointestinal disorders. Faecal calprotectin is a very sensitive marker for inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, and useful for the differentiation of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Faecal calprotectin is used for the diagnosis, monitoring disease activity, treatment guidance and prediction of disease relapse and post-operative recurrence in IBD. There may also potentially be a role for faecal calprotectin in the management of infectious gastroenteritis, acute appendicitis, peptic ulcer disease, cystic fibrosis, coeliac disease, transplant rejection and graft versus host disease. Further studies are needed to confirm its utility in these conditions. Analysis of faecal calprotectin consists of an extraction step followed by quantification by immunoassay. Over the past few decades, several assays and extraction devices including point-of-care methods have been introduced by manufacturers. The manufacturer-quoted cut-off values for different faecal calprotectin assays are generally similar. However, the sensitivities and specificities at a given cut-off, and therefore the optimum cut-off values, are different between assays. A reference standard for calprotectin is lacking. Therefore, assay standardisation is required for more accurate and traceable test results for faecal calprotectin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-90
Number of pages14
JournalClinical Biochemist Reviews
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


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