Correlation Between Calprotectin and Modified Rutgeerts Score

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Endoscopic recurrence after surgery for Crohn's disease (CD) is high, and it has important prognostic value. Crohn's disease will recur in the majority of patients after surgery. Fecal calprotectin (FC) and lactoferrin (FL) have attracted interest in the postoperative setting for predicting relapse. We have evaluated the accuracy of FC and FL in diagnosing endoscopic recurrence (ER) using the modified Rutgeerts score (MRS) compared with the Rutgeerts score (RS).


A series of consecutive patients who underwent ileocolonic resection for Crohn's disease were evaluated. Biomarkers, clinical indexes, and fecal markers were recorded on the day of ileocolonoscopy. ER was defined as a MRS ≥ i2b or a RS ≥ i2.


Ninety-nine patients were included in this prospective cohort. The median time between surgery and colonoscopy was 87.5 months (IQR, 31–137). FC and FL levels were higher in patients with ER than in those in remission (Median FC, 196.5 μg/g [IQR, 96–634 μg/g] versus 42.1 μg/g [IQR 19–91.60 μg/g; P < 0.001]; Median FL, 23.27 μg/g [IQR 8.9–47.8 μg/g] versus 2 μg/g [IQR 0.9–7.26 μg/g; P < 0.001]). Using the MRS, 34% of patients presented with ER compared with 76% if the RS was used. The RS performed worse than the MRS with a decrease in sensitivity (74% versus 48% for FC and 85% versus 55% for FL) and in NPV (91% versus 33% for FC, and 90% versus 37% for FL). Furthermore, the accuracy of the MRS was higher than that of the RS (75% versus 55%).


Both FC and FL proved to correlate well with endoscopic findings in the evaluation of Crohn's disease after surgery. Both markers predicted recurrence with greater accuracy when the MRS was used. Fecal markers can be used to monitor disease recurrence after intestinal resection, with patients being selected to undergo further endoscopic evaluation.

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