Fecal markers in the management of inflammatory bowel disease.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by periods of symptomatic remission and relapse. Diagnosis and assessment of IBD are based on clinical evaluation, serum parameters, radiology, and endoscopy. Fecal markers have emerged as new diagnostic tools to detect and monitor intestinal inflammation. Fecal calprotectin (FC) and lactoferrin (FL) were identified decades ago as potentially revolutionary markers for IBD.
Following these discoveries numerous additional markers, including S100A12, M2-PK, metalloproteinases, hemoglobin, myeloperoxidase, lysozyme, polymorphonuclear elastase, neopterin, and nitric oxide, have also been suggested as novel markers of IBD. But only FC and FL are used for the management of clinical IBD patients. The objective of this review is to introduce the clinical applications of fecal markers in the diagnosis, monitoring and prediction of outcomes of inflammatory bowel disease.