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Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2006 Sep 8;131(36):1930-4.

[Elevated concentrations of fecal calprotectin in patients with liver cirrhosis].

[Article in German]

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Institut f├╝r Klinische Chemie und Pathobiochemie, Universit├Ątsklinikum Aachen.


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTION: Bacterial translocation from the gut lumen is considered to play an important role in the development of infectious complications in patients with liver cirrhosis. This translocation might be increased by inflammation of the gut mucosa. Calprotectin is a cytoplasmatic protein of neutrophilic granulocytes and is an established marker for the assessment of localized intestinal inflammation. It was the aim of the current study to systematically evaluate a localized intestinal inflammation in patients with liver cirrhosis by means of fecal calprotectin concentrations.


Fecal calprotectin concentrations were determined in 53 consecutive patients with liver cirrhosis and in 18 subjects without intestinal or liver diseases, who were comparable with respect to age and gender. Patients with diarrhoea, inflammatory bowel disease and a positive stool test for occult blood were excluded from the study. Fecal calprotectin concentrations were measured by a sandwich ELISA. The systemic inflammatory reaction of the patients was assessed by C-reactive protein, white blood cells counts and the serum concentrations of the cytokines IL-6, IL-8 and IL-10.


Fecal calprotectin concentrations were significantly increased in patients with liver cirrhosis (median 37.0 mg/kg) compared to controls patients (median 2.2, P < 0.0001). There were no significant correlations of calprotectin concentrations with systemic inflammatory parameters, like CRP, white blood cell count or serum cytokines. However, fecal calprotectin concentrations were significantly associated with the stage of liver cirrhosis as expressed by the Child-Pugh score ( P < 0.001). A trend towards higher concentrations of calprotectin was found in patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis ( P = 0.1).


Patients with liver cirrhosis display elevated fecal calprotectin concentrations as a potential sign of intestinal inflammation. Further studies are warranted to establish a role of calprotectin for the risk assessment of infectious complications secondary to bacterial translocation in patients with liver cirrhosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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