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After reading the paper presented by Costa et al (Gut 2005;54:364–8) and the additional commentary by Pardi and Sandborn (Gut 2005;54:321–2), we would like to underscore the potential importance of biomarkers to assess intestinal inflammation and we would like to add a clarification on the faecal calprotectin assay.
We agree with Pardi and Sandborn that other serological markers have not demonstrated clinical utility as predictors or monitoring tools of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) activity.1 Studies are emerging to support the sensitivity and clinical utility of more selective and specific non-invasive markers of intestinal inflammation, such as faecal calprotectin.2,3 As we deepen our understanding of the molecular basis of IBD, we may find that the degree of inflammation and its role in recurrence differs between Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. This is an important question raised in both articles.
When comparing the Costa study with the earlier …