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J Natl Cancer Inst. 2012 Jun 6;104(11):810-4. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djs190. Epub 2012 Apr 2.

A proposal to standardize reporting units for fecal immunochemical tests for hemoglobin.

Abstract

Fecal immunochemical tests for hemoglobin are replacing traditional guaiac fecal occult blood tests in population screening programs for many reasons. However, the many available fecal immunochemical test devices use a range of sampling methods, differ with regard to hemoglobin stability, and report hemoglobin concentrations in different ways. The methods for sampling, the mass of feces collected, and the volume and characteristics of the buffer used in the sampling device also vary among fecal immunochemical tests, making comparisons of test performance characteristics difficult. Fecal immunochemical test results may be expressed as the hemoglobin concentration in the sampling device buffer and, sometimes, albeit rarely, as the hemoglobin concentration per mass of feces. The current lack of consistency in units for reporting hemoglobin concentration is particularly problematic because apparently similar hemoglobin concentrations obtained with different devices can lead to very different clinical interpretations. Consistent adoption of an internationally accepted method for reporting results would facilitate comparisons of outcomes from these tests. We propose a simple strategy for reporting fecal hemoglobin concentration that will facilitate the comparison of results between fecal immunochemical test devices and across clinical studies. Such reporting is readily achieved by defining the mass of feces sampled and the volume of sample buffer (with confidence intervals) and expressing results as micrograms of hemoglobin per gram of feces. We propose that manufacturers of fecal immunochemical tests provide this information and that the authors of research articles, guidelines, and policy articles, as well as pathology services and regulatory bodies, adopt this metric when reporting fecal immunochemical test results.

PMID:
22472305
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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