Intest Res.  2021 Jan;19(1):62-70. 10.5217/ir.2019.09156.

The role of platelet to lymphocyte ratio and neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio in ulcerative colitis

  • 1Digestive Disease Center, Institute for Digestive Research, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Biostatistics, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet to lymphocyte ratio (PLR) can serve as biomarkers for diagnosing and assessing disease activity in ulcerative colitis (UC). We investigated their clinical significance in UC.
We analyzed 48 patients with UC who underwent measurement of fecal calprotectin (FC) and endoscopy and 96 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. NLR and PLR were compared between the patients and healthy controls. The endoscopic activity was divided into 2 groups: group 1 (mild to moderate inflammation) and group 2 (severe inflammation) according to the Mayo endoscopic subscore in UC.
To diagnose UC, the optimal cutoff of NLR and PLR was 2.26 (sensitivity 54.2%; specificity 90.6%; positive likelihood ratio 5.778, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.944–11.339; area under the curve [AUC] 0.774, 95% CI, 0.690–0.859) and 179.8 (sensitivity 35.4%; specificity 90.6%; positive likelihood ratio 3.778, 95% CI 1.821–7.838; AUC 0.654, 95% CI 0.556–0.753), respectively. The optimal cutoff to differentiate group 1 and group 2 was 3.44, 175.9, and 453 µg/g for NLR, PLR, and FC, respectively (sensitivity, 63.6% vs. 90.9% vs. 81.8%; specificity, 81.1% vs. 78.4% vs. 73.0%; positive likelihood ratio, 3.364 vs. 4.205 vs. 3.027; AUC, 0.714 vs. 0.897 vs. 0.813). PLR had the highest AUC and positive likelihood ratio.
NLR and PLR help differentiate patients with UC from healthy controls. NLR, PLR, and FC indicate endoscopic activity and may reflect intestinal mucosal conditions.


Colitis, ulcerative; Neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio; Platelet to lymphocyte ratio; Fecal calprotectin
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