Calprotectin – Differentiating IBD from non-inflammatory Diseases
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) affects approximately 2 million people in Europe and shows increasing prevalence all over the world. Crohn’s Disease (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC) are incurable serious chronic diseases of the intestinal tract. Symptoms of IBD strongly resemble those of non-inflammatory diseases such as the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), polyps or even gastrointestinal infections. Calprotectin has proven itself as a very good surrogate marker in the diagnosis of IBD and helps therefore to reliably select patients for further invasive diagnostic procedures. It is assumed that IBS affects over 30 million people in Europe and results in over 2 million yearly visits to physicians. Twenty to thirty percent of all visits to gastroenterologists are due to symptoms of IBS. Calprotectin is therefore the ideal diagnostic tool to discriminate between inflammatory and non-inflammatory conditions in the gastrointestinal tract.
Calprotectin – Monitoring IBD Disease Activity
The clinical course of most patients with IBD is marked by periods of remission with intermittent relapses characterized by increased intestinal inflammation. Numerous published studies by Tibble et al. and others, have studied the levels of calprotectin in patients during the course of the disease. The results show that calprotectin is a good predictor of relapse in patients with IBD, thus giving clinicians an effective tool to adapt the patients treatment accordingly and to ease the relapse severity.
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