Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease, which causes inflammation of your digestive tract with symptoms such as abdominal pain, fever, diarrhoea, and weight loss. It is a recurrent disease interspersed with periods of remission. Control of the inflammatory process allows for the healing of the intestinal mucosa, which leads to lower recurrence and less complication. Identification of markers that can safely distinguish between remission and increased endoscopic disease activity, including mild activity, is important. Colonoscopy is the standard method, however, it is invasive. The ideal markers for the assessment of inflammatory activity in Crohn’s disease patients should be non-invasive, accurate and low-cost.
Calprotectin is a calcium- and zinc-binding protein present in the cytoplasm of Neutrophils and, to a lesser extent, monocytes and macrophages. Calprotectin can be detected in stool due to the migration of neutrophils into the gastrointestinal tissue in response to an infection or an inflammatory process. Therefore, faecal calprotectin has prove useful in the diagnosis and monitoring of inflammatory bowel disease and functional gastrointestinal disorders, such as Crohn’s disease.
An article published in BMC Gastroenterology in 2020 (https://doi.org/10.1186/s12876-020-1183-x) sought to evaluate the inflammatory activity in Crohn’s disease by correlating clinical and non-invasive laboratory markers (hemogram, C-reactive protein and faecal calprotectin) with endoscopic findings. The objective was to determine the ability of these markers to discriminate between remission, mild, and moderate to severe disease activity.
The authors showed that faecal calprotectin provided the best diagnostic accuracy compared to endoscopic findings in patients with Crohn’s disease. It was the only marker that was able to distinguish remission from mild to moderate and severe activity. This finding, particularly the difference between remission and mild endoscopic activity, is significant in its ability to guide early treatment adjustments, with positive long-term outcomes of the disease.
Synexa Life Sciences offers a wide variety of comprehensive gut health tests, which include faecal calprotectin, secretory IgA, natural flora, and bacterial and yeast cultures. These gut health tests can be useful in the diagnosis and management of a wide variety of disorders including Crohn’s disease.