Assessment of ileal pouch inflammation by single-stool calprotectin assay

P Thomas, H Rihani, A Røseth, G Sigthorsson, A Price, R J Nicholls, I Bjarnason
Diseases of the Colon and Rectum 2000, 43 (2): 214-20

PURPOSE: Assessment of inflammation within the ileal pouch to establish a diagnosis of "pouchitis" requires both pouch endoscopy and biopsy because there can be a poor correlation between macroscopic and histologic assessments of inflammation. A simplified diagnostic test would be of clinical advantage. Calprotectin is a stable myelomonocytic protein, measurable in feces. It quantitatively relates to inflammation within the gastrointestinal tract. This study was designed to compare single and 24-hour stool measurements of calprotectin in patients with and without evidence of ileal pouch inflammation with endoscopic, histologic, and immunohistochemical indices.

METHODS: Twenty-four-hour stool collections were made in ileal pouch patients, 9 with and 15 without (7 with ulcerative colitis and 8 with familial polyposis coli) evidence of pouch inflammation. First-morning stool concentration and total 24-hour calprotectin were quantified by use of a single step enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Biopsies from the reservoir were taken for conventional histology and scoring of intraepithelial neutrophil infiltrate. Cells positive for CD3, CD45RO, CD14, and CD15 within the lamina propria were quantified by use of immunohistochemistry.

RESULTS: The mean first-morning stool calprotectin concentration correlated with the 24-hour level (r = 0.91; P = <0.0001). The median single-stool calprotectin concentrations were 39 mg/l, 4 mg/l, and 8.5 mg/l (normal range, 0.2-10 mg/l) in patients with inflamed, noninflamed ulcerative colitis, and familial adenomatous polyposis, respectively. All nine patients with endoscopic and histologic evidence of pouch inflammation had raised stool calprotectin. Two of 15 patients without evidence of pouch inflammation had abnormal stool calprotectin. Single-stool calprotectin concentration correlated with the percentage of mature granulocytes (CD15; r = 0.46; P = 0.04) and activated macrophages (CD14; r = 0.65; P = 0.006), but not memory T cells (CD45RO; r = -0.05; P = 0.4) within the lamina propria.

CONCLUSION: Single first-morning stool calprotectin levels provide a quantitative measure of pouch inflammation, which may be helpful in the diagnosis and assessment of pouchitis.

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