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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2016 May;43(10):1069-79. doi: 10.1111/apt.13585. Epub 2016 Mar 8.

Faecal chitinase 3-like 1 is a reliable marker as accurate as faecal calprotectin in detecting endoscopic activity in adult patients with inflammatory bowel diseases.

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Gastroenterology Department, University Hospital Estaing, Clermont-Ferrand, France.
Microbes, Intestine, Inflammation and Susceptibility of the Host, UMR 1071 Inserm/Université d'Auvergne, USC-INRA 2018, Clermont-Ferrand, France.
Biochemistry Laboratory, University Hospital G. Montpied, Clermont-Ferrand, France.
Biostatistics Unit- DRCI, GM - Clermont-Ferrand University and Medical Center, Clermont-Ferrand, France.



Faecal biomarkers are emerging tools in the assessment of mucosal healing in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs).


To evaluate the accuracy of faecal chitinase 3-like 1(CHI3L1) compared to calprotectin in detecting endoscopic activity in IBD.


Overall, 86 IBD adults underwent colonoscopy consecutively and prospectively, with Crohn's disease Endoscopic Index of Severity (CDEIS) or Mayo endoscopic subscore calculation for ulcerative colitis, and stool collection. Faecal calprotectin was measured using quantitative immunochromatographic testing. Faecal CHI3L1 was quantified by ELISA. CHI3L1 cut-off value was determined using a receiver-operating curve.


In 54 Crohn's disease patients, faecal CHI3L1 (ρ = 0.70, P < 0.001) and calprotectin (ρ = 0.74, P < 0.001) levels correlated with CDEIS and were significantly increased in patients with endoscopic ulceration. In patients with ileal Crohn's disease, faecal CHI3L1 seemed to be better correlated with CDEIS than faecal calprotectin (ρ = 0.78 vs. ρ = 0.62, P < 0.001 for both). CHI3L1 > 15 ng/g detected endoscopic ulceration in Crohn's disease with a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 63.6%, compared to faecal calprotectin > 250 μg/g showing a sensitivity of 90.5% and a specificity of 59.1%. In 32 ulcerative colitis patients, faecal CHI3L1 and calprotectin levels correlated with Mayo endoscopic subscore (ρ = 0.44 and 0.61, respectively, P < 0.001 for both) and were significantly increased in ulcerative colitis patients with endoscopic activity. In ulcerative colitis patients, faecal CHI3L1 > 15 ng/g predicted endoscopic activity with a sensitivity of 81.8% and a specificity of 80.0%, compared to faecal calprotectin>250 μg/g showing a sensitivity of 86.4% and a specificity of 80.0%.


Faecal CHI3L1 is a reliable biomarker in detecting endoscopic activity in IBD.

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