Clinical utility of fecal calprotectin in monitoring disease activity and predicting relapse in pregnant patients with inflammatory bowel diseases

Rottenstreich A1, Mishael T2, Granovsky SG2, Koslowsky B2, Schweistein H2, Abitbol G2, Goldin E2, Shitrit AB2. Eur J Intern Med. 2020 Mar 17. pii: S0953-6205(20)30111-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2020.03.015. [Epub ahead of print]


Author information

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel. Electronic address: amichaimd@gmail.com.

IBD MOM Unit, Digestive Diseases Institute, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Affiliated with the Medical School, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel.


OBJECTIVES: Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are commonly diagnosed in reproductive-aged women and can substantially affect pregnancy outcomes. Non-invasive monitoring of IBD during the prenatal course is particularly challenging as traditional laboratory biomarkers are often affected by pregnancy-related physiologic changes. We aimed to evaluate the role of fecal calprotectin (FC) in monitoring disease activity and predicting relapse among IBD women throughout gestation.

METHODS: Women with IBD attending a multidisciplinary clinic for the preconception, antenatal and postnatal treatment were prospectively recruited during 2014-2018. FC levels were determined with an enzyme-linked immunoassay.

RESULTS: A total of 265 FC (preconception, n = 41; 1st trimester, n = 48; 2nd trimester, n = 84; 3rd trimester, n = 76; postpartum, n = 16) measurements were obtained in 157 pregnancies. Higher FC concentrations were found in all time points in those with active disease than those in remission as assessed by either physician global assessment or disease clinical scores. FC levels were significantly correlated with physician global assessment and disease activity indices in all 5 periods of investigation. Excluding those with disease flare at the time of conception, disease relapse was encountered during the prenatal course in 40 (31.5%) of the remaining 127 pregnancies. FC levels were significantly higher in those who experienced a disease flare later in the course of gestation as compared to those who maintained clinical remission (median 341 vs. 224 μg/g, P = 0.04).

CONCLUSION: FC appears to be a reliable marker of ongoing disease activity throughout the prenatal course as well as a predictor of imminent disease flare among IBD pregnant patients.

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