The Calprotectin test is a biomarker that assesses inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. This test helps to discriminate between Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Faecal Calprotectin levels elevate in patients with IBD and correlate with endoscopic and histological assessment of the disease. Patients with IBS do not present with increased faecal Calprotectin levels. Calprotectin offers a simple, reliable and non-invasive test for discriminating between the two bowel disorders.
This test is useful for patients that are needing to distinguish between IBD and IBS presentation. The test requires one stool specimen for testing.
- Distinguish between patients with Inflammatory bowel disease and Irritable bowel disease
- Determine disease activity and risk of relapse in IBD patients, and assess the level of mucosal healing
- Help to identify patients with abdominal symptoms who may require further investigative procedures
After the practitioner has provided a request form, the patient can order their Calprotectin test kit online. Each test kit contains full instructions.
The standard turnaround time for this test is 10-14 working days from the date the patient’s specimens are received at our laboratory.
Results will be delivered to the referring practitioner via electronic download, unless requested otherwise. However, we can also issue results via fax and/or hardcopy.
One stool specimen is required. The Faecal Calprotectin test is suitable for children.
- Patients must follow their usual diet prior to collecting a stool specimen
- The stool specimen must be collected in the morning, where possible. Otherwise, the first bowel movement of the day.
- If the patient is currently taking antibiotics, only proceed with this collection two weeks after the patient can completed the course of probiotic therapy.
- Natural laxatives can be used if constipation is a problem. This includes herbal and nutritional supplements. Do not use pharmaceutical laxatives as these medications can alter test results.
The results of the Calprotectin antigen tests may be further supported by additional Australian Clinical Labs Functional Pathology tests. For example, dysbiosis can contribute to problems with digestive transit time and digestion of fats. It can also indicate if there may be issues with immunity and mental health. A Complete Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA) may be useful in this instance to assess the presence of dysbiosis and irregularities with other gut biomarkers.
The Intestinal Permeability (IP) test may also be a useful adjunct to the Calprotectin. Increased permeability of the endothelial lining of the gut may contribute to or be caused by poor digestive function. Combining the Calprotectin and the IP tests will provide a comprehensive overview of gut function and alert the practitioner to potential aetiology if IBS is suspected.
Food sensitivities will also contribute to digestive symptoms such as bloating, burping, flatulence, pain and deviation in normal bowel motions. The IgG Food Sensitivity Profile is a blood test which screens for IgG antibodies to a panel of foods. This test is recommended with the Calprotectin when food sensitivity may be a stimulating factor in IBS.