Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic inflammatory disorders affecting the gastrointestinal tract. Faecal calprotectin is a protein complex of the S-100 family of calcium-binding proteins present in inflammatory cells that can be measured in stool samples, which act as a biomarker for bowel inflammation. Elevated faecal calprotectin has been shown to reflect the presence of ongoing mucosal inflammation, which improves with mucosal healing. The aim of this review was to evaluate the available evidence on the ability of faecal calprotectin to predict a relapse in inflammatory bowel disease. Multiple retrospective studies have shown that patients who relapse have significantly higher levels of calprotectin in their stool compared with non-relapsers, especially in ulcerative colitis. Elevated faecal calprotectin postoperatively in Crohn's disease was also shown to be indicative of a relapse. However, the association of a raised faecal calprotectin and relapse is not universal and may be explained by the different patterns of mucosal inflammatory activity that exist. In conclusion, we put forward our hypothesis that changes such as a rise in faecal calprotectin levels may be more predictive of a relapse than absolute values.
- CROHN'S DISEASE
- INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE
- ULCERATIVE COLITIS
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