Does fecal calprotectin equally and accurately measure disease activity in small bowel and large bowel Crohn

Simon EG1,2,3, Wardle R2, Thi AA2, Eldridge J4, Samuel S2, Moran GW1,2. Intest Res. 2019 Feb 7. doi: 10.5217/ir.2018.00114. [Epub ahead of print]


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Fecal calprotectin (FC) is a highly sensitive disease activity biomarker in inflammatory bowel disease. However, there are conflicting reports on whether the diagnostic accuracy in Crohn's disease is influenced by disease location. The aim of this study was to undertake a systematic review of the published literature. Relevant databases were searched from inception to November 8, 2016 for cohort and case control studies which had data on FC in patients with isolated small bowel (SB) and large bowel (LB) Crohn's disease. Reference standards for disease activity were endoscopy, magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography or a combination of these. The QUADAS-2 research tool was used to assess the risk of bias. There were 5,619 records identified at initial search. The 2,098 duplicates were removed and 3,521 records screened. Sixty-one full text articles were assessed for eligibility and 16 studies were included in the final review with sensitivities and specificities per disease location available from 8 studies. Sensitivities of FC at SB and LB locations ranged from 42.9% to 100% and 66.7% to 100% respectively while corresponding specificities were 50% to 100% and 28.6% to 100% respectively. The sensitivities and specificities of FC to accurately measure disease activity in Crohn's disease at different disease locations are diverse and no firm conclusion can be made. Better studies need to be undertaken to categorically answer the effect of disease location on the diagnostic accuracy of FC.

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