What is it about?

This review is aimed at describing the most recent evidence about the utility of faecal calprotectin (FCAL) in the management of inflammatory bowel diseases, including diagnosis, assessment of disease activity and mucosal healing, response to therapy, and capacity to predict relapse and postoperative recurrence. These aspects are viewed with a special focus on systematic reviews with meta-analyses carried out for each purpose. We also reviewed the reported differences between the several FCAL assays available in clinical practice, as this is one of the main hurdles for its clinical implementation. Finally, current limitations of FCAL in clinical settings and other alternative biomarkers are discussed.

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Why is it important?

Our review represents the first comprehensive revision of FCAL performance in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) by providing a special focus on meta-analyses jointly with the pooled sensitivity and specificity values estimated on them. Therefore, our review covers a complete picture of FCAL usage for the whole clinical management of patients with IBD and provides a different point of view compared to previous reviews on the field. Describing also the limitations of FCAL measurement could be also valuable for laboratory and clinical professionals to understand the disagreement and controversy of certain aspects of FCAL implementation.


We made an important effort to compile the most recent evidences about faecal calprotectin (FCAL) usefulness in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Our review have the singularity of being focused on the data reported by meta-analyses, as the study design able to provide the strongest level of evidence to support decisions in clinical practice. We hope this review will help clinicians and researchers to understand better the current evidences supporting FCAL employment in IBD and also the limitations that still exists for its routine implementation and interpretation.

Emilio J Laserna Mendieta
Hospital General de Tomelloso

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Faecal calprotectin in inflammatory bowel diseases: a review focused on meta-analyses and routine usage limitations, Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM), August 2019, De Gruyter,
DOI: 10.1515/cclm-2018-1063.
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