Fecal Matrix Metalloprotease-9 and Lipocalin-2 as Biomarkers in Detecting Endoscopic Activity in Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

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


We aimed to evaluate the accuracy of fecal matrix metalloprotease-9 (MMP-9) and fecal lipocalin-2 (LCN-2) compared with 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) in Crohn’s disease (CD) patients or Mayo endoscopic subscore calculation for ulcerative colitis (UC) patients, and stool collection. Fecal calprotectin was measured using quantitative immunochromatographic testing. Fecal MMP-9 and LCN-2 was quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. MMP-9 and LCN-2 thresholds were determined using receiver operating curves.


In 54 CD patients, fecal calprotectin, MMP-9 and LCN-2 correlated with CDEIS and were significantly increased in patients with endoscopic ulcerations. MMP-9 >350 ng/g detected endoscopic ulceration in CD with a sensitivity of 90.0% and a specificity of 63.6%, compared with fecal calprotectin >250 μg/g (sensitivity=90.5% and specificity=59.1%). Fecal LCN-2 demonstrated lower performances than the 2 other biomarkers (sensitivity=85.7% and specificity=45.5%).


In 32 UC patients, fecal MMP-9, LCN-2, and calprotectin levels were significantly increased in patients with endoscopic activity. In UC patients, fecal MMP-9 >900 ng/g had the best efficacy to detect endoscopic activity (sensitivity=91.0% and specificity=80.0%, compared with fecal calprotectin >250 μg/g (sensitivity=86.4% and specificity=80.0%) and LCN-2 >6700 ng/g (sensitivity=82.0% and specificity=80.0%).


Fecal MMP-9 is a reliable biomarker in detecting endoscopic activity in both UC and CD patients.

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