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The Vampire Study: Significant elevation of faecal calprotectin in healthy volunteers after 300 ml blood ingestion mimicking upper gastrointestinal bleeding


Vavricka, Stephan R; Heinrich, Henriette; Buetikofer, Simon; Breitenmoser, Flavia; Burri, Emanuel; Schneider-Yin, Xiaoye; Barman-Aksoezen, Jasmin; Biedermann, Luc; Scharl, Michael; Zeitz, Jonas; Rogler, Gerhard; Misselwitz, Benjamin; Sauter, Matthias (2018). The Vampire Study: Significant elevation of faecal calprotectin in healthy volunteers after 300 ml blood ingestion mimicking upper gastrointestinal bleeding. United European Gastroenterology Journal, 6(7):1007-1014.

Abstract

Background Faecal calprotectin correlates with histological and clinical activity in inflammatory bowel disease. Gastrointestinal bleeding might also increase faecal calprotectin levels, erroneously implying intestinal inflammation; however, this possibility has not been systematically assessed. Methods Sixteen healthy volunteers without gastrointestinal disease and normal faecal calprotectin baseline values ingested their own blood twice, either by drinking or via nasogastric tube. Quantities of 100 ml and 300 ml blood were ingested in a randomised order, with a 28-day wash-out period. Faecal calprotectin, faecal occult blood test, and the occurrence of melaena were assessed. Faecal calprotectin ≥ 50 µg/g was considered elevated. Results Melaena was reported by all healthy volunteers after 300 ml and by 11/15 healthy volunteers (71%) after 100 ml blood ingestion. One day after ingestion of 300 ml blood, 8/16 faecal calprotectin tests were positive compared to 1/16 at baseline ( = 0.016). Faecal calprotectin levels above > 200 µg/g were rarely observed. There was a trend for faecal calprotectin test positivity also after ingestion of 100 ml. Conclusion Ingestion of blood resulted in an increase in faecal calprotectin-positive tests. Gastrointestinal bleeding should be considered as a potential cause of mild faecal calprotectin elevation > 50 µg/g; however, increased faecal calprotectin above > 250-300 µg/g, the established cut-off for relevant intestinal inflammation in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, is rare.

Abstract

Background Faecal calprotectin correlates with histological and clinical activity in inflammatory bowel disease. Gastrointestinal bleeding might also increase faecal calprotectin levels, erroneously implying intestinal inflammation; however, this possibility has not been systematically assessed. Methods Sixteen healthy volunteers without gastrointestinal disease and normal faecal calprotectin baseline values ingested their own blood twice, either by drinking or via nasogastric tube. Quantities of 100 ml and 300 ml blood were ingested in a randomised order, with a 28-day wash-out period. Faecal calprotectin, faecal occult blood test, and the occurrence of melaena were assessed. Faecal calprotectin ≥ 50 µg/g was considered elevated. Results Melaena was reported by all healthy volunteers after 300 ml and by 11/15 healthy volunteers (71%) after 100 ml blood ingestion. One day after ingestion of 300 ml blood, 8/16 faecal calprotectin tests were positive compared to 1/16 at baseline ( = 0.016). Faecal calprotectin levels above > 200 µg/g were rarely observed. There was a trend for faecal calprotectin test positivity also after ingestion of 100 ml. Conclusion Ingestion of blood resulted in an increase in faecal calprotectin-positive tests. Gastrointestinal bleeding should be considered as a potential cause of mild faecal calprotectin elevation > 50 µg/g; however, increased faecal calprotectin above > 250-300 µg/g, the established cut-off for relevant intestinal inflammation in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, is rare.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:August 2018
Deposited On:30 Nov 2018 10:15
Last Modified:01 Dec 2018 01:19
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:2050-6406
OA Status:Green
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/2050640618774416
PubMed ID:30228888

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