, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 360-367
Date: 20 Sep 2009

Clinical significance of inflammatory markers

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Inflammatory markers play a key role in the evaluation of patients with gastrointestinal symptoms. For patients presenting with nonspecific symptoms of abdominal pain and diarrhea, distinguishing inflammatory bowel disease from other disorders can be difficult, and invasive diagnostic procedures may be required. Inflammatory markers can be useful to differentiate patients who may require further workup from those who do not. Several serum, fecal, and other markers are reviewed for their use in clinical practice. Although no single ideal marker exists, a few show promise in diagnosing inflammatory disease, monitoring disease activity, and predicting relapse.