Pathology Handbook

Faecal calprotectin

Clinical Indications

Faecal calprotectin is a neutrophil marker protein that gives an objective measure of inflammation in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), i.e. ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.  Calprotectin is a non-specific marker of gastrointestinal disease of both inflammatory and neoplastic character and its high sensitivity and negative predictive values can be useful to select patients for colonoscopy. 
It may also be useful for early detection of relapse in IBD and monitoring disease activity and response to treatment.

There are several known causes of falsely raised calprotectin levels. These are:
• NSAID treatment (excluding low dose aspirin circa 75mg)
• Systemic malignancy
• Septicaemia
• Cirrhosis of the liver
• Shingles, salmonella and c. diff infections

Request Form 

Request on ICE or use combined Biochemistry/Haematology form

Availability

Analysed by referral laboratory if specific criteria met.

Specific Criteria

Requested by Consultant Gastroenterologist and agreed with Consultant Biochemist.

Turnaround Time

2 weeks

Specimen

Calprotectin is evenly distributed in stools so that only a small stool sample  is required for analysis.

Volume

5 grams

Container

Large white top universal

Lab Handling

Sent to referral laboratory (Basildon Hospital)

Causes for Rejection

Not meeting specific criteria for analysis. 

Reference Range

For results between 0-110 ug/g faeces: Normal faecal calprotectin ?IBS or quiescent IBD. 

For results between 110-1800 ug/g faeces: Raised faecal calprotectin may indicate IBD. Mildly raised figures may still be normal. Also consider other causes e.g. infection, polyps, malignancy and NSAID use.