The majority of fecal occult blood tests (FOBT) used for colorectal cancer screening in Western populations are guaiac-based, and manually developed. They tend to be subjective and sensitive to dietary components.
Studies have demonstrated the unsuitability of these tests for screening a Chinese population.
In this study, an international team of researchers evaluated a human hemoglobin-specific automated immunochemical FOBT, in a Chinese population.
|- sensitivity = 62%|
- specificity = 93%
- predictive value = 44%
The team included 250 consecutive patients who were referred for colonoscopy.
Patients who met the inclusion criteria provided samples for the immunochemical FOBT from 2 successive stool samples.
Tests were developed using an automated instrument with an adjustable sensitivity threshold.
The team calculated sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value for detecting colorectal adenomas and carcinomas using the manufacturer's instructions.
At the optimal threshold level, the sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value for detecting adenomas ≥1 cm and carcinomas, were 62%, 93%, and 44%, respectively.
The researchers found that this test was easy to use, and results did not depend on operator experience.
Dr Wai Man Wong's team concluded, "The automated immunochemical FOBT used in the current study was a robust, convenient, and useful tool for colorectal carcinoma screening in the study population".