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Inflammatory bowel disease


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term mainly used to describe two conditions, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

Pre-referral investigations

  • In patients under 45 years, check faecal calprotectin

For faecal calprotectin, the laboratory require a stool sample the size of a 2p coin, in a labelled pot. Mark clearly on the form that the sample is for Biochemistry, not Microbiology. Stool samples should also be sent to microbiology to exclude infection.

Advice from UHCW laboratory: “Analysis of faecal calprotectin for the exclusion of active bowel inflammation is only recommended in patients under 45 years old, or for monitoring patients who have a previously diagnosed inflammatory bowel condition.”

Referral threshold – If a new patient with suspected inflammatory bowel disease, refer urgently. For established cases suffering a flare-up, contact the IBD Clinical Nurse Specialists at UHCW, Sonia Ford and Sarah Loft, phone number 024 7696 4000, ext 26075, or by bleep. The nurses can get patients seen urgently in clinics if necessary. Alternatively the GP can contact the consultant’s secretary to request urgent review.

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