Faecal calprotectin delivers on convenience, cost reduction and clinical decision-making in inflammatory bowel disease: a real-world cohort study

Satwik Motaganahalli, Lauren Beswick, Danny Con, Daniel R. van Langenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Faecal calprotectin (FC) is an accurate biomarker of disease activity in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), yet the cost/resource implications of incorporating FC into ‘real-world’ practice remain uncertain. Aim: To evaluate the utility of FC in clinical decision-making and on healthcare costs in IBD. Methods: Retrospective data, including colonoscopy/other investigations, medication, admission and surgical data, were collected from hospital records and compared between two groups: pre-FC historical cohort (2005–2009) where colonoscopy was used to assess IBD activity versus the cohort where FC was used first instead (2010–2014). Post-test costs were also compared. Results: A total of 357 FC tests (246 patients, 2010–2014) and 450 colonoscopies (268 patients, 2005–2009) were performed. On subsequent review, both FC and colonoscopy (in their respective cohorts) were associated with changes in management in 50.7 versus 56.2% (P = 0.14), respectively, with similar proportions of subsequent IBD-related investigations within 6 months (21.8 vs 21.9%, P = 1.0). Prior to FC availability (2005–2009), a colonoscopy for disease reassessment cost AU$606 578 (cost per patient-year $1887.34) versus AU$282 048 (cost per patient-year $968.60) when FC ± colonoscopy was used (2010–2014). Within the FC cohort, 73.6% did not proceed to colonoscopy within 6 months post-FC, and 60.6% had not undergone colonoscopy post-FC by the end of follow up (median 1.8 years (0.1, 4.6) post-FC). Those with FC ≥ 250 were scoped earlier than those with FC < 100 μg/mL (median 0.49 vs 1.0 years, P = 0.03). Conclusion: Introduction of FC into routine IBD care aided changes in clinical management in a similar proportion, yet at potentially half the total cost, compared to a historical colonoscopy-only cohort at the same centre.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-100
Number of pages7
JournalInternal Medicine Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • colonoscopy
  • cost utility
  • faecal calprotectin
  • inflammatory bowel disease

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