Clinical Relevance of Faecal Calprotectin Level in Infantile Colic: A Cross-sectional Survey

Document Type : Original Article


1 Pediatric Ward, Amir Al-Momenin Hospital, Zabol University of Medical Sciences, Zabol, Iran

2 Zabol University of Medical Sciences

3 Zabol University of Medical Sciences, Zabol, Iran

4 Faculty of Allied Medical Sciences, Zabol University of Medical Sciences, Zabol, Iran


Background: There is limited knowledge on the potential applicability of fecal calprotectin (f-CP) as an inflammatory screening parameter in infantile colic (IC). This study aimed to evaluate f-CP in neonates with IC as a useful diagnostic indicator regarding this condition.
Methods: The present study was conducted on 100 cases, including 50 newborns with IC and 50 non-colicky neonates. The diagnosis of IC was fulfilled by the Wessel Criteria. The level of f-CP was determined by a specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit (Calprotectin ELISA, EuroImmun, Germany). The statistical analysis was performed in SPSS software (version 19).  
Results: Out of 100 neonates, 57 cases were male and 43 subjects were female. The age spectrum ranged from 19-90 days (40.4±15.9). Colicky newborns were slightly younger (P=0.06) with higher birth weight compared to the infants without colic (P<0.0001). The level of f-CP was significantly higher in colicky neonates (113.7±98.2 µg/g) than non-colicky cases (71.4±45.5 µg/g) (P=0.007). Overall, 37%, 30%, 26%, and 7% of the newborns showed f-CP levels<50, 50-100, 100-200, and >200 µg/g, respectively. There was a significant difference regarding the distribution of these f-CP categories between neonates with IC and the cases without IC (P=0.02). There were no significant correlations between the f-CP and newborn age, pregnancy age, present or birth weights, and number of pregnancies. Receiver operating characteristic analysis rendered an area under the curve of 0.642 (95% CI: 0.534-0.748) (P=0.01). At the cut-off value of 74 µg/g, f-CP showed sensitivity of 60% and specificity of 59% for the detection of IC.
Conclusion: The results of this study revealed that the f-CP might be useful in the diagnosis of the IC.


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