BACKGROUND:Faecal calprotectin [FCal] levels are used as a surrogate marker for mucosal inflammation, but thresholds for defining endoscopic or histological disease activity in ulcerative colitis [UC] remain unclear. METHODS:Using validated indices, prospective measurements of FCal, symptoms [Simple Colitis Clinical Activity Index, SCCAI], endoscopic [Ulcerative Colitis Endoscopic Index of Severity, UCEIS] and histological activity [Nancy index] were made over 6 months in patients enrolled into the TrueColours UC web-based monitoring programme. Repeated measurements correlation was performed between FCal and SCCAI, UCEIS, and Nancy indices using definitions for remission and active disease [UCEIS: remission ≤1, active ≥4; Nancy: remission ≤1, active ≥2; combined criteria: remission UCEIS ≤1 and Nancy ≤1, active UCEIS ≥4 and Nancy ≥2]. Receiver operating characteristic curves investigated FCal thresholds after maximising sensitivity for active disease. RESULTS:In 39 patients followed prospectively for 6 months, correlation coefficients between FCal and SCCAI, UCEIS, and Nancy indices were 0.271 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.114-0.415), 0.741 [95% CI 0.289-0.922], and 0.876 [95% CI 0.605-0.965], respectively. Median FCal thresholds for remission using endoscopic, histological, or combined criteria were 71 μg/g [range 8-624], 91 μg/g [range 8-858], and 67 μg/g [range 8-479], respectively. The FCal threshold above which active disease was confirmed was 187 μg/g for UCEIS (area under the curve [AUC] 0.915), 72 μg/g for Nancy [AUC 0.824], and 187 μg/g for combined endoscopic and histological criteria [AUC 0.936]. CONCLUSIONS:Correlation between FCal and symptoms in UC is weak. In contrast, the correlation between FCal and endoscopic or histological activity is strong. An FCal ≥72 μg/g indicates histological inflammation [Nancy ≥2] and ≥187 μg/g indicates endoscopically active disease [UCEIS ≥4], whether combined with histopathology or not.
Journal of Crohn's & colitis
424 - 430
Translational Gastroenterology Unit, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK.