Can patients at high risk for significant colorectal neoplasms and having normal quantitative faecal occult blood test postpone elective colonoscopy?

R. Hazazi, P. Rozen, M. Leshno, Z. Levi, Z. Samuel, A. Waked, A. Vilkin, E. Maoz, S. Birkenfeld, Y. Niv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background Common reasons for elective screening and surveillance colonoscopy, at predetermined intervals, are family or personal history of colorectal cancer (CRC) or advanced adenoma (AAP). Quantified, human haemoglobin (Hb)-specific, immunochemical faecal occult blood tests (I-FOBT) detect bleeding. Aim To determine I-FOBT sensitivity for CRC or AAP before elective colonoscopy in patients at high-risk of cancer or advanced adenoma. Methods Prospective double-blind study of 1000 ambulatory asymptomatic high-risk patients (555 family history of CRC, 445 surveillance for past neoplasm), who prepared three I-FOBTs before elective colonoscopy. I-FOBTs quantified as ngHb/mL of buffer by OC-MICRO instrument and results ≥50 ngHb/mL considered positive. Results At colonoscopy, eight patients had CRC, 64 others had AAP. Sensitivity for CRC and/or AAP was the highest, 65.3% (95% CI 54.3, 76.3), when any of the three I-FOBTs was ≥50 ngHb (15.4%), with specificity of 87.5% (95% CI 86.4, 90.5) identifying all CRCs and 62% of AAPs. Conclusions All cancers or an AAP were detected every third I-FOBT-positive colonoscopy (47/154), so colonoscopy was potentially not needed at this time in 84.6% (846 patients). I-FOBT screening might provide effective supervision of high-risk patients, delaying unnecessary elective colonoscopies. This favourable evaluation needs confirmation and cost-benefit study by risk-group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-533
Number of pages11
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

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