Published online Jan 14, 2014. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i2.363
Revised: November 12, 2013
Accepted: November 28, 2013
Published online: January 14, 2014
Core tip: Faecal markers of intestinal inflammation represent a practicable, non-invasive, inexpensive and objective diagnostic tool to differentiate organic [inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)] and functional [irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)] gastrointestinal diseases. Faecal markers have the potential to be incorporated into standard clinical practice for the routine assessment of IBS and IBD. Neutrophil-derived faecal biomarkers show a high diagnostic accuracy in the differentiation of IBD vs IBS. They can provide reassurance to the physicians that the clinical diagnosis of IBS is correct. Future progress in our knowledge about the biology of these proteins and the underlying pathogenesis of IBS will help translate IBD/IBS research into patient care.