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Adam Szarszewski, Maria Korzon, Anna Liberek, Barbara Kamińska, Maciej Zagierski
Med Sci Monit 2003; 9(4): 60-63
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and colorectal neoplasms have become recently real diagnostic and therapeutical problems. New research methods are needed, which can help simplify the diagnosis process. Detection of calprotectin in the feaces is expected to become a screening test for IBD and colorectal neoplasms. Calprotectin, a complex calcium binding protein belongs to a major family of proteins produced during the inflammatory process. Calprotectin is produced mainly by neutrophils, but also by monocytes and epithelial cells during inflammatory state, when it can consist up to 60% of cytoplasm. Three groups of patients have been established, in whom level of calprotectin excreted in faeces is significantly higher than in healthy individuals, i.e. patients with IBD, patients with colorectal neoplasms and patients after therapy with non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). Measurement of calprotectin in feaces can become a valuable diagnostic method in all these conditions thanks to calprotectin stability in feaces and the low cost of the test. In the pediatric population it seems especially important in the children with IBD and, according to many authors, this method has high sensitivity and specificity in this population. It can be useful both in diagnosis of IBD and in monitoring of severity of the process. It seems that the calprotectin test could become a valuable test in patients suspected of IBD or colorectal neoplasm and thus become important addition to colonoscopy, imaging methods and histopathology examinations.