Background & Aims: Capsule endoscopy has been shown to be useful in diagnosing small bowel Crohn's disease. Faecal lactoferrin has been shown to have a high sensitivity and specificity in discriminating between inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. There have been no studies on the use of faecal lactoferrin in the setting of suspected Crohn's disease using capsule endoscopy. Our aim was to investigate the clinical utility of lactoferrin in patients with suspected Crohn's disease using capsule endoscopy.

Methods: Data was collected prospectively on patient symptoms, family history and blood parameters. Patients were requested to return a stool sample and quantitative analysis using sandwich ELISA was performed for faecal lactoferrin.

: Seventeen patients were recruited with all patients having had more than one criterion for referral. The diagnostic yield for capsule endoscopy was 41%, of which 71% of patients had an elevated faecal lactoferrin (correlation coefficient 0.56, p=0.01). The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value of faecal lactoferrin were 71%, 100%, 100% and 83%, respectively.

: Faecal lactoferrin has a high positive and negative predictive value for the diagnosis of small bowel Crohn's disease, detected by capsule endoscopy. Faecal lactoferrin is a useful marker (in conjunction with clinical parameters) to determine which patients should be referred for capsule endoscopy.



Faecal lactoferrin, Crohn's disease, capsule endoscopy