Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014;15(2):1015-21.

Diagnostic value of rectal bleeding in predicting colorectal cancer: a systematic review.

Author information

School of Health Services Management, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China E-mail :


This study aimed at summarizing published study findings on the diagnostic value of rectal bleeding (RB) and informing clinical practice, preventive interventions and future research areas. We searched Medline and Embase for studies published by September 13, 2013 examining the risk of colorectal cancer in patients with RB using highly inclusive algorithms. Data for sensitivity, specificity, positive likelihood ratio, negative likelihood ratio and positive predictive value (PPV) of RB were extracted by two researchers and analyzed applying Meta-Disc (version 1.4) and Stata (version 11.0). Methodological quality of studies was assessed according to QUADAS. A total of 38 studies containing 5,626 colorectal cancer patients and 73,174 participants with RB were included. The pooled sensitivity and specificity were 0.47 (95% CI: 0.45-0.48) and 0.96 (95% CI: 0.96-0.96) respectively. The overall PPVs ranged from 0.01 to 0.21 with a pooled value of 0.06 (95% CI: 0.05-0.08). Being over the age of 60 years, change in bowel habit, weight loss, anaemia, colorectal cancer among first-degree relatives and feeling of incomplete evacuation of rectum appeared to increase the predictive value of RB. Although RB greatly increases the probability of diagnosing colorectal cancer, it alone may not be sufficient for proposing further sophisticated investigations. However, given the high specificity, subjects without RB may be ruled out of further investigations. Future studies should focus on strategies using RB as an "alarm" symptom and finding additional indications to justify whether there is a need for further investigations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Asian Pacific Organization for Cancer Prevention
    Loading ...
    Support Center