Article Text

  1. E Moerch1,
  2. E A M Westerbeek1,
  3. F R Knol1,
  4. A Kok2,
  5. W P F Fetter1,
  6. H N Lafeber1,
  7. R M vanElburg1
  1. 1Department of Neonatology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Clinical Chemistry, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Introduction and objectives In newborn (especially preterm) infants, a systemic inflammatory response occurs within 5 minutes after birth. Calprotectin and IL8 in faeces may reflect this inflammatory response. Objectives of this study were to compare calprotectin and IL8 in faeces of preterm and term infants and to determine the effect of perinatal factors on calprotectin and IL8 in faeces of preterm infants <48 hours after birth.

Methods Stool samples from preterm (<32 wks and/or <1500 g) and term infants (>37 wks) were collected <48 h after birth. Calprotectin was measured by ELISA (Buhlmann, Switzerland) and IL8 by random-access chemiluminescence immunoassay (Siemens, The Netherlands). Perinatal factors (mode of delivery, chorioamnionitis, perinatal corticosteroids, Apgar score, gestational age, birth weight) were recorded in preterm infants. Data were expressed as median and range and analysed by Mann–Whitney U test and lineair regression (SPSS 15.0). A p-value <0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results 20 term infants (GA 39.1 wks (37–42.3), BW 3493 g (2115–4320) and 74 preterm infants (GA 30.3 wks (25.7–34.7), BW 1350 g (645–2300) were included. Calprotectin and IL8 were both higher in preterm than in term infants (480 vs 190 μg/g, p = 0.001 and 29.2 vs 4.9 pg/mL, p<0.001 respectively). Calprotectin and IL8 were strongly correlated (Beta 0.50, p<0.001). In preterm infants, only gestational age was negatively correlated with IL8 (p = 0.04).

Conclusions Intestinal inflammation, reflected by fecal calprotectin and IL-8 is more pronounced in preterm than in term infants. Fecal calprotectin and IL-8 are strongly correlated. Of the perinatal factors, only gestational age is negatively correlated with IL8 in preterm infants.

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