DOI: 10.1093/qjmed/hcad069.201 ISSN:

Serum Calprotectin as a Potentially Sensitive Biomarker for Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Egyptian Patients

Nehal Azab, Hala Talkhan, Dalia Samaha, Lamyaa Salem
  • General Medicine



Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) incidence is increasing nowadays. Its diagnosis depends on invasive techniques such as colonoscopy and biopsy which is the gold standard for diagnosis. Its activity is monitored by fecal calprotectin levels which has a low compliance rate. Although it is unlikely for serum biomarkers to replace colonoscopy, a need exists for a serum biomarker that at least decreases the need for such an invasive technique.

Aim of the Work

The aim of this work was to evaluate serum calprotectin as a biomarker for IBD in Egyptian patients.

Patients and Methods

The study was conducted on 50 Egyptian IBD patients, 34% were males and 66% were females with their ages ranging from 15 to 62 years. Based on IBD type 60% were diagnosed as ulcerative colitis (UC) half of them were in clinical activity and the other half in remission and 40% were diagnosed as Chron’s disease (CD) half of them were in clinical activity and the other half in remission. IBD patients were recruited from Gastroenterology Clinic, Ain Shams University Hospitals in the period from October 2019 till October 2020. In addition, 20 race-, sex- and age- matched apparently healthy subjects were included in the study as a control group. Serum calprotectin levels were measured by ELISA.


The results revealed that the serum levels of calprotectin were significantly higher in IBD patients than in the control group and in clinically active patients than those in remission. There was a positive correlation between serum calprotectin levels, CRP and ESR, however the diagnostic value of serum calprotectin was higher than that of CRP and ESR as serum calprotectin had higher sensitivity and specificity. The specificity of serum calprotectin in diagnosing IBD was 95% and the sensitivity was 98%; the specificity of CRP was 85% and the sensitivity was 64%; the specificity of ESR was 85% and the sensitivity was 62%. Our work revealed that there was a direct relationship between serum calprotectin and platelet count and an inverse relationship between serum calprotectin and albumin and hemoglobin levels.


Serum levels of calprotectin are increased and are associated with clinical activity in IBD patients so it may become one of the clinically valuable indicators of activity of the disease.

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