Laboratory Findings

  • Catherine ColmanEmail author
  • Marlene Stone
  • Alain Bitton


Diagnosing and treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a challenging process. Several criteria are required for a definite diagnosis. These include clinical presentation, endoscopic appearance, histological findings, as well as biochemical and laboratory investigations (ECCO, J Crohns Colitis 11(1):3–25, 2017; Vermiere et al., Gut 55:426–431, 2006). Laboratory investigations are noninvasive and usually accessible and inexpensive and an integral part of diagnosis and overall IBD management. They are essential in detecting infection and inflammation, in assessing malabsorption and nutritional deficiencies, and in monitoring the response to therapy. Considering the relapsing and remitting course of IBD, certain investigations or laboratory markers are available that can help guide detection for early intervention, which can lead to improved outcomes. Both serum and fecal markers are used routinely in IBD clinical practice. The most widely studied and used markers in IBD are C-reactive protein (CRP) and fecal calprotectin (FC). Several laboratory markers have been described in the literature but are not routinely used in clinical practice either because they are not readily available or have not gained favor. These include serum amyloid, alpha-1 antitrypsin, orosomucoid, and interleukin 6. Other essential laboratory markers in the management of IBD are also reviewed.


Inflammatory bowel disease Biomarkers Fecal calprotectin C-reactive protein 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.McGill University Health Centre, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Centre, Montreal General HospitalMontrealCanada

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