Faecal Calprotectin and Local IBS Guidelines

on Monday, 17 October 2016. Posted in Clinical Advice, Blood Sciences, Biochemistry

Faecal Calprotectin (FCAL) is a protein that is released into the intestines in excess when there is any inflammation. Many people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have unnecessary invasive hospital investigations before their condition is diagnosed. Use of FCAL testing may lead to a reduction in the number of investigations being requested for people with a high likelihood of an IBS diagnosis. This will:

• Improve the patient experience for those with IBS and reduce the number of patients undergoing invasive procedures within secondary care.

• Reduce outpatient referrals into secondary care.

• Increase the numbers accessing rapid diagnosis for IBS/IBD.

• Improve pathways for the management of IBS.

• Provide a structured programme to aid decision making in primary care.


FCAL testing is recommended by NICE as an option to help doctors distinguish between inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and non-inflammatory bowel diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome.

The new IBS local pathway has two options for a patient i.e. if they are suffering from constipation then they are referred into the IBS pathway 2 (diet, medication physical activity etc). If a patient is suffering from diarrhoea then they will follow the IBS pathway 1 and be tested for FCAL. Only if the FCAL concentration >150 ug/g is the patient referred into the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinic (IBD). If the FCAL concentration is 

Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.

The laboratories at Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital form part of the services provided by University Hospitals Birmingham and are UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accredited to the ISO 15189:2012 standard. For a list of accredited tests and other information please visit the UKAS website using the following link: https://www.ukas.com/find-an-organisation/

  • Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull Hospital pathology laboratories are a UKAS accredited medical laboratory No.8217
  • United Kingdom Health Security Agency laboratory is a UKAS accredited medical laboratory No.8213

Tests not appearing on the UKAS Schedule of Accreditation 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 test information, please visit the test database: http://www.heftpathology.com/frontpage/test-database.html.

Protection of personal information - Laboratory Medicine comply with the Trust Data Protection policy and have procedures in place to allow the Directorate and its employees to comply with the Data Protection act  1998 and associated best practice and guidance.

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