Eosinophil Protein X is a water-soluble protein that is found in eosinophils. Fecal Eosinophil Protein X levels are abnormally increased in people with intestinal inflammation where high concentrations of eosinophils may be found. Eosinophils proliferate and accumulate in areas of inflammation. When they degranulate, they release their contents including Eosinophil Protein X. Thus, Eosinophil Protein X levels in stool are a marker of eosinophil activity in the gastrointestinal system. The test may help people with inflammatory bowel disease determine if they are in a period of remission (low levels) or if they are about to have a relapse (increasing levels).
Normal Ranges for Eosinophil Protein X:
0 - 4.6 mcg/g
Eosinophil Protein X levels cannot be too low. A reading of zero would be considered normal.
Abnormally high levels of Eosinophil Protein X in stool samples indicate inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Thus, the test may indicate inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. However, other processes can increase eosinophil activity in the bowels. For example chronic diarrhea, chronic gastroesophageal reflux, and chronic alcohol misuse can cause an irritation of the lining of the gut, which increases eosinophil activity and Eosinophil Protein X levels.
Some specific causes of high Eosinophil Protein X levels are:
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Intestinal parasites (e.g. helminths)
- Chronic diarrhea
- Chronic gastroesophageal reflux
- Chronic alcohol misuse
- Protein-sensitive enteropathy
- Colon cancer
- Eosinophilic gastroenteritis
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