In 2013 the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in England recommend Faecal Calprotectin testing as an option to support physicians when differentiating inflammatory and non-inflammatory bowel diseases.
10% to 20% of the adult population suffers with Irritable bowel syndrome, a functional gastrointestinal disorder. However it is recognised that prevalence is dependent upon how the condition is defined. Diagnosing IBS has traditionally been by exclusion but in recent years physicians have turned more towards using tools to make a positive diagnosis of IBS.
Many patients with abdominal symptoms are referred for invasive testing (including flexible sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy) after initially presenting to their GP with non-specific abdominal symptoms of the lower gastrointestinal tract including abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, and/or changes in bowel habit. For those patients under the age of 45 years without alarm symptoms, Faecal Calprotectin testing is clinically useful for differentiating organic inflammation from functional gastrointestinal disorders in a Primary care setting.
CalScreen reduces referrals from Primary Care
In November 2015, NHS Cannock Chase CCG and NHS stafford and Surrounds CCG published their findings following 14 month pilot of the implementation of faecal calprotectin testing in Primary Care using Preventis CalScreen. Their findings were submitted to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Shared learning database which included the following key highlights:
14 month pilot following recommendations from the NICE Diagnostics Guidance 11 (DG11): “Faecal calprotectin diagnostic tests for inflammatory diseases of the bowel”
In 13 months 833 tests were carried out by the two participating CCGs
Of these, 467 tests were negative and none of these patients were referred to secondary care