Calprotectin is part of the body’s immune system and is produced in large quantities in specialised immune cells. The protein calprotectin consists of two subunits, and is also referred to as L1 protein, MRP8/14 or S100A8/A9.
On contact with foreign cells or in case of tissue damage, the immune system is activated and the immune cells release calprotectin and several other substances. This leads to an inflammatory response which is intended to help the body fight the foreign or damaged cells. Calprotectin can be detected in blood and other body fluids or stools and is an indicator of inflammatory responses.
Why is calprotectin measured?
In the event of inflammation of the intestines, calprotectin is excreted in the faeces. The detection of calprotectin in faeces can help your doctor to distinguish between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD, e.g. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) and functional bowel disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). If the calprotectin value is low, inflammation can be excluded. In patients with an elevated faecal calprotectin value, diagnosis then follows using further diagnostic procedures such as endoscopy and other imaging processes.
The amount of calprotectin in the faeces increases with the degree of inflammation of the intestinal wall. For this reason, measuring the amount of calprotectin is ideally suited to assessing the disease activity with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. This can be important for assessing the efficacy of therapeutic measures and responding quickly to inflammatory flare-ups.
Step-by-step instructions for the QuantOn Cal® app
The QuantOn Cal® app is available for iPhones and for some Android smartphones. You can only use the app in collaboration with your doctor: Your doctor will give you your personal patient information sheet. This contains brief instructions for how to install the app, your patient barcode and your doctor’s barcode. These barcodes are then required to set up the app.