Faecal calprotectin aids in measurement of rifaximin effect in IBS patients
Faecal calprotectin (FC) may be a potential biomarker for measuring the effect of rifaximin in nonconstipated patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a recent study has found.
The study included 198 patients with gastrointestinal complaints and in whom FC levels were elevated. Participants were initially given 1,200 mg/day of rifaximin for 4 weeks, followed by FC tests. Treatment was maintained if FC measurements exceeded 11.5 mg/kg; rifaximin was discontinued after 12 weeks.
A total of 168 patients achieved normalized FC values. Most (71.0 percent; n=115) of them required 4 weeks of treatment, while 24.1 percent (n=39) and 4.9 percent (n=8) underwent 8 and 12 weeks of treatment, respectively. FC values did not normalize in 36 participants.
Abdominal symptoms improved in all treatment duration groups. For instance, in patients who required 4 weeks of treatment, mean Likert scale scores improved from 4.4±0.8 at baseline to 2.1±0.7 at treatment cessation (p<0.05). In the 8-week group, scores dropped from 4.5±0.7 at baseline to 2.2±0.8 (p<0.05).
Similarly, a significant improvement was observed in participants who achieved FC normalization after 12 weeks (4.7±1.0 to 1.9±0.9; p<0.5). FC values and Likert scores at baseline were not significantly different among groups.
In most cases, significant improvement in Likert scale scores occurred before the normalization of FC measurements, researchers pointed out.
In patients with persistently elevated mean FC values beyond the 12-week mark, measurable improvements in abdominal symptoms were also reported.