Preferred Sample Type

Calprotectin (faecal)

Suitable Specimen Types

  • Faeces
1 - 5g faeces

Specimen Transport

Usual to laboratory

Turnaround Time

7 working days

Sample Stability

Upon receipt store sample below -18̊C ready for extraction. Extracted samples are stored between 2-8̊C prior to analysis

Calprotectin (faecal)

General Information

Calprotectin is a protein found in cells involved in inflammation. It is present in abundance in neutrophils. The concentration of calprotectin in faeces is increased in inflammatory bowel disease and has been shown to be a better marker of the disease activity (seen on tissue biopsy) than blood test markers of inflammation (e.g. white blood cell count, ESR and CRP). Its measurement is relatively cheap, non-invasive and it is stable in faeces at room temperature for several days.

The main diseases that cause an increased excretion of faecal calprotectin are Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and cancer.  Levels of faecal calprotectin are not raised in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).


Patient Preparation

>Random faecal sample (any time of day, no dietary restrictions required) in a plain universal container and approximately 1 gram in weight.


Please note, from 17th October 2016, specimens will be processed at HEFT using the Buhlmann fCAL (TM) Turbo assay.

NB: Reference range and guidelines applicable to adult patients only, as agreed locally with gastroenterologists.

Reference Range

Reference ranges from 17/10/2016 (NB: reference range only applicable to adult patients):

≤60ug/g: Not indicative of GI inflammation

>60ug/g but ≤ 150ug/g: Moderately elevated levels are associated with organic intestinal disease but should be interpreted in line with clinical assessment. Repeat FCALP in 4 weeks from first test and stop aspirin/NSAIDs. If this is the repeat test please refer for ‘new IBD’ clinic appointment.

>150ug/g: Elevated calprotectin suggestive of but not diagnostic of inflammatory bowel disease. Please refer for ‘new IBD’ clinic appointment.

Please see guidelines for adult patients below:

Source of Reference Range

Agreed with Consultant Gastroenterologists to be used in in conjunction with local IBS guidelines


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The Trust Laboratories at Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital were awarded UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accreditation to the internationally recognised ISO 15189 standard in May 2015. For a list of accredited tests and other information please visit the test database
Tests not appearing on this scope are either under consideration or in the process of accreditation and so currently remain outside of our scope of accreditation. However, these tests have been validated to the same high standard as accredited tests and are performed by the same trained and competent staff.

For further information contact Louise Fallon, Quality Manager, 0121 424 1235