Calprotectin

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This test is done on a random stool sample, to distinguish Inflammatory Bowel Disease [IBD] from Irritable Bowel Syndrome [IBS]. This is particularly useful in patients with mild disease activity, and obviates the need for more invasive procedures such as colonoscopy.

Intestinal inflammation is associated with the migration of neutrophils [WBC] into the mucosa of the gut. Calprotectin is the most common protein in neutrophils, and the amount of calprotectin in the faeces is proportional to the degree of neutrophil migration into the gastrointestinal mucosa. The measurement of calprotectin is the most sensitive and specific test to distinguish IBD from IBS. It has a sensitivity of 83% and a specificity of 100%.

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