Faecal Calprotectin Test
Continuous problems with bowels affect approximately 5 -10 % of Poland's population. This annoying ailment can dramatically influence daily routine. The most common disease among those affecting intestines is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). There are also organic diseases as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) that can bring about more serious health consequences. IBD is a group of diseases such as: Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis. They need continuous monitoring of Patient's condition because of their remission and acute phases during which Patient is not able to live in usual manner.
The vital thing is to tell if our symptoms are linked to the functional or organic disease. The method that can help us is non-invasive faecal calprotectin test. It is a simple examination which answers the question if you have organic of functional disease. You should know however that this test cannot set the ulcerative colitis apart from Crohn's dsease.
What is calprotectin?
Calprotectin is heterodimeric complex of two proteins that bind calcium or zinc. That proteins belong to the S-100 family and are called: MRP-8 and MRP-14.Calprotectin occurs in granular structures and neutrophils' cytoplasm and it constitutes 30-60% of cytoplasmic proteins. Calprotectin is extracellularly excreted by stimulated neutrophils but is liberated after their death or destruction. In result the concentration of calprotectin rises in serum, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, urine and faeces, which is a symptom of disease process in surrounding organs. Calprotectin is stable in feaces for 7 days in various temperatures and is proteolysis-resistant, even during transport and storage.
The elevated concentration of calprotectin can detect patients with IBD with accuracy of 95 %. Calprotectin test combined with colonoscopy is the basis of unambiguous diagnosis. In Western Europe calprotectin testing is commonly conducted among patients to evaluate a need for colonoscopy. It let to reduce number of procedures and shorten waiting period for those who really need it.
Regular faecal calprotectin testing is a sure and fast way of monitoring inflammatory changes of bowel and mucous mending conditions. Level of calprotectin reflects positive changes in patients during treatment and remission. It's growth on the other hand is a reliable sign of disease's exacerbation It is detectable even before symptoms of disease and therefore the appropriate treatment decisions can be made.
To sum up, the calprotectin testind is a non-invasive examination which helps to:
differ organic diseases (Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis)from functional diseases (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
monitor treatment and evaluate activity and risk of exerbation of the Crohn's disease and the Ulcerative Colitis disease.
Note: The growth in calprotectin level can also be a sign of: colorectal cancer, Coeliac disease and during non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug therapy.
This examination is conducted as a private procedure.