Luminally expressed gastrointestinal biomarkers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


  • Diana E Yung
  • Ben F Cox
  • Anastasios Koulaouzidis
  • Marc P Y Desmulliez
  • Sandy Cochran

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Glasgow
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Dundee


Introduction: A biomarker is a measurable indicator of normal biologic processes, pathogenic processes or pharmacological responses. The identification of a useful biomarker is challenging, with several hurdles to overcome before clinical adoption. This review gives a general overview of a range of biomarkers associated with inflammatory bowel disease or colorectal cancer along the gastrointestinal tract.

Areas covered: These markers include those that are already clinically accepted, such as inflammatory markers such as faecal calprotectin, S100A12 (Calgranulin C), Fatty Acid Binding Proteins (FABP), malignancy markers such as Faecal Occult Blood, Mucins, Stool DNA, Faecal microRNA (miRNA), other markers such as Faecal Elastase, Faecal alpha-1-antitrypsin, Alpha2-macroglobulin and possible future markers such as microbiota, volatile organic compounds and pH.

Expert commentary: There are currently a few biomarkers that have been sufficiently validated for routine clinical use at present such as FC. However, many of these biomarkers continue to be limited in sensitivity and specificity for various GI diseases. Emerging biomarkers have the potential to improve diagnosis and monitoring but further study is required to determine efficacy and validate clinical utility.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1119-1134
JournalExpert review of gastroenterology and hepatology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sep 2017


  • biomarker, gastrointestinal disease, faecal calprotectin, lactoferrin, phagocyte derived protein, faecal occult blood testing, mucins, fatty acid binding proteins, microbiome, volatilome