Background  Faecal calprotectin and lactoferrin increasingly serve as surrogate markers of disease activity in IBD. Data on the correlation of these markers with simple endoscopic score for Crohn’s disease (SES-CD) and with histological findings are as yet limited.

Aim  To study the correlation of faecal calprotectin and lactoferrin with SES-CD and histology.

Methods  During 87 consecutive ileocolonoscopies, SES-CD was calculated and biopsy specimens were obtained from the ileum, colon and rectum. Faecal calprotectin and lactoferrin were measured.

Results  In ileocolonic or colonic disease, both faecal calprotectin and lactoferrin correlated significantly with colon SES-CD (P < 0.001) and colon histology (P < 0.001). In patients with normal calprotectin or lactoferrin levels, endoscopic and histology scores were significantly lower than in those with elevated concentrations (P < 0.001). In ileal CD, ileal SES-CD correlated with histology (P < 0.001), but not with faecal calprotectin (P = 0.161) or lactoferrin (P = 0.448).

Conclusion  In ileocolonic and colonic disease, endoscopic score SES-CD and histological findings correlated significantly with faecal calprotectin and lactoferrin. A normal faecal-marker concentration was a reliable surrogate marker for endoscopically and histologically inactive CD. Ileal endoscopic score and histological findings failed, however, to correlate with faecal markers.