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Am J Gastroenterol. 2009 Apr;104(4):933-8. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2009.14. Epub 2009 Mar 17.

Sensitivity, but not specificity, of a quantitative immunochemical fecal occult blood test for neoplasia is slightly increased by the use of low-dose aspirin, NSAIDs, and anticoagulants.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Campus, Petach Tikvah, Israel. zohar_levi@012.net.il

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We evaluated the effect of the use of aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), and anticoagulants on the performance of immunochemical fecal occult blood test (I-FOBT).

METHODS:

A prospective, cross-sectional study of 1,221 ambulatory patients having total colonoscopy after preparing three I-FOBTs. Information regarding the use of medications was collected from the health medical organization (HMO) database. I-FOBT was analyzed with the OC-MICRO instrument using both >or=75 and 100 ngHb/ml of buffer thresholds to determine positivity.

RESULTS:

Colorectal cancer (CRC) was found in 17 and advanced adenomatous polyp (AAP) in 97 patients. A total of 212 patients were using aspirin/NSAIDS at the time of I-FOBT testing. Qualitative analysis for the detection of AAP/CRC reveals a trend for an increased sensitivity with aspirin/NSAIDS use. At the threshold 75 ng/ml for positivity, the sensitivity for the detection of AAP/CRC was 66.7% for aspirin/NSAIDS use vs. 51.2% for nondrug takers (P=0.20), and at the threshold of 100 ng/ml, the sensitivity was 66.7 vs. 46.5% (P=0.09). The specificity, however, was not affected by the use of aspirin/NSAIDS. At the threshold of 75 ng/ml for positivity, the specificity for the detection of AAP/CRC was 89.5% for aspirin/NSAIDS use vs. 91.2% for nondrug takers (P=0.47), and at the threshold of 100 ng/ml, the specificity was 92.17 vs. 93.0% (P=0.69). A total of 33 patients were using antithrombotics/coagulants at the time of I-FOBT testing. This group was small; however, it appears that their use was also associated with a trend for increased sensitivity and no change in specificity.

CONCLUSIONS:

The use of aspirin/NSAIDS and anticoagulants was associated with a trend for increased sensitivity with no change in specificity for the detection of AAP/CRC. This study suggests that there is no need to stop these agents before I-FOBT testing.

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PMID:
19293792
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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