For several years, calprotectin has been considered an interesting marker for the diagnosis of gastrointestinal diseases. It is a calcium- and zinc-binding protein that is produced by neutrophil granulocytes and monocytes and is assumed to be bactericidal and fungicidal. In the case of an inflammatory disease of the intestine, granulocytes pass into the intestinal lumen and release calprotectin which is then excreted with the stool. The concentration of calprotectin in stool is therefore an indicator for the severity of an inflammatory process in the intestine.
The EUROIMMUN Calprotectin ELISA is a non-invasive stool test for the following:
- Differentiation of irritable bowel syndrome (colon irritabile - low calprotectin level) from acute and chronic inflammations of the intestine (e.g. viral or bacterial infections, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis - increased calprotectin level)
- Monitoring of the disease course and therapy success in patients with chronic inflammatory bowel diseases: With successful treatment, the formerly increased level of calprotectin decreases significantly and increases again in case of a relapse. This behaviour correlates very well with the histological and endoscopic findings. Therefore, investigation of the calprotectin level can help to avoid biopsies or other complicated examinations.
- Suspected cases of neoplastic changes in the intestine (e.g. intestinal polyps)
The common markers for inflammatory processes, such as C-reactive protein or the erythrocyte sedimentation rate, are determined in serum. Calprotectin, however, is measured in stool and has therefore a higher informational value in gastrointestinal inflammations.
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