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Med Sci Monit. 2006 Jun;12(6):MT27-32. Epub 2006 May 29.

Evaluation of a desk top instrument for the automated development and immunochemical quantification of fecal occult blood.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Hospital, Petach Tikva, Israel. rozen@tasmc.health.gov.il



The guaiac fecal occult blood test (FOBT) for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening is user dependent and not specific for human hemoglobin (Hb). The automated-developed, quantitative, immunochemical human Hb FOBT (I-FOBT) is specific, allows for quality control and selection of a suitable Hb level, with optimal sensitivity and specificity, for colonoscopy.


We evaluated a desktop instrument, OC-MICRO (Eiken, Japan), which automatically develops and quantifies 50 fecal tests/hr for Hb; for ease of use, test reproducibility and stability and intra-patient daily I-FOBT variation; clinical evaluation included sensitivity and specificity for neoplasia in patients undergoing colonoscopy.


Five hundred patients prepared 3 fecal tests which were quantified for Hb, I-FOBT samples were: (1) repeatedly re-examined; (2) stored at 4 degrees C or 20 degrees C or 28 degrees C and re-examined; (3) I-FOBT levels correlated with colonoscopic findings. Five I-FOBTs re-examined 6 times had no significant changes; 30 tests stored > or = 21 days had a decay/day of: 0.3%+/-0.4 at 4 degrees C (NS), 2.2%+/-1.7 at 20 degrees C (NS) and 3.7%+/-1.8 at 28 degrees C (P<0.05). Receiver operator characteristic curve analysis showed that at the 100 ng Hb/mL I-FOBT level 76.5% of CRCs and advanced adenomas were detected with a specificity of 95.3%.


The instrument provided reproducible results and refrigerated I-FOBT samples were stable 21 days. An I-FOBT level can be chosen to provide optimal sensitivity and specificity for significant neoplasia.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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