Rapid fecal calprotectin testing predicts mucosal healing better than C-reactive protein and serum tumor necrosis factor α in patients with ulcerative colitis

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Background and Aims. Serum and fecal biomarkers have been used as noninvasive methods for assessing disease activity in ulcerative colitis. C-reactive protein, serum tumor necrosis factor-α and fecal calprotectin are among the most promising such biomarkers. However, their role in the management of ulcerative colitis patients remains to be clarified. We aimed to evaluate the accuracy of C-reactive protein, fecal calprotectin and tumor necrosis factor-α in detecting clinical and endoscopic activity and predicting disease outcome.

Methods. A cohort of ulcerative colitis patients was prospectively evaluated for clinical and endoscopic disease activity using the Mayo score. Serum C-reactive protein and tumor necrosis factor-α levels were measured and a point-of-care method was used for determining Calprotectin levels.

Results. Fifty-three patients with ulcerative colitis were followed for a median of 12 months. Fecal calprotectin and C-reactive protein levels were significantly higher in patients with clinically active disease at baseline, but only calprotectin levels correlated with endoscopic activity. Calprotectin values over 300 μg/g had 60% sensitivity and 90% specificity for detecting active endoscopic disease and 61% sensitivity and 89% specificity for predicting mucosal healing.

Conclusion. Rapid calprotectin testing is a better predictor of mucosal healing than serum biomarkers and it could improve the management of ulcerative colitis patients by decreasing the need for invasive investigations.

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