OBJECTIVES: Excessive alcohol consumption often results in intestinal damage, mediated by inflammatory processes, mainly characterized by an increased influx of leukocytes. Fecal calprotectin is a granulocyte cytosolic protein, representing as a promising marker of subclinical intestinal inflammation. In this study, we assessed fecal calprotectin concentrations (FCCs) in current drinking alcoholics, both at the baseline, and then during a subsequent 84-day period. Moreover, FCCs in the alcoholics were compared with the FCCs in healthy controls.
METHODS: Twenty-eight, active-drinking alcoholics were enrolled in this study and compared with 40 healthy volunteers as the control group. In alcoholics, FCCs were determined at the beginning of the study (baseline; T0) and then every 2 weeks (T1-T6) during the following 84-day period. Potential differences in FCCs were analyzed between alcoholics and healthy controls, and during the 84-day period within the group of alcoholics. In addition, an analysis of FCCs was conducted in three subgroups of alcoholics, considering their drinking status during the 84-day period (abstinent, relapsed, and active).
RESULTS: At baseline, no significant differences in median FCCs were found between alcoholics and controls. No significant changes of median FCCs were found, comparing baseline FCCs and FCCs during the 84-day period (T1-T6) in the whole group of alcoholics, nor in the three subgroups of alcoholics.
CONCLUSION: FCCs in active-drinking alcoholics are not significantly different, compared with the healthy controls. Moreover, FCCs do not significantly differ according to the alcohol drinking status. These results may suggest the absence of a subclinal intestinal inflammation involving neutrophils in the alcoholics.