, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 203-207
Date: 11 May 2010

Effectiveness of the Immunofecal Occult Blood Test for Colorectal Cancer Screening in a Large Population

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Guaiac tests are the most widely used tests to detect colorectal cancer (CRC). However, their sensitivity is relatively low and results may be affected by various factors. Immunofecal occult blood test (IFOBT) is specific for human hemoglobin and does not require dietary restrictions.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of IFOBT for the screening of precancerous lesions and CRC.


From July 2006 to June 2007, IFOBT was performed on 5,919 adults who received periodic health examinations in our hospital. The positive cases were examined by colonoscopy and a double-contrast barium enema. Diagnosis was confirmed by histopathological analysis.


Positive IFOBT was detected in 314 of 5,919 cases (5.30%). Further examinations were made in 264 IFOBT-positive cases. Of these, 116 cases with colorectal cancer (16 cases) or precancerous lesions (94 cases with colorectal adenomatous polyps and 6 cases with active ulcerative colitis) were detected. The total detection rate of CRC and precancerous lesions was 43.94% (116/264). TNM classification of 16 CRC cases was as follows: TNM I in eight cases (50.00%), TNM II in seven cases (43.75%) and TNM III in one case (6.25%), indicating IFOBT can detect CRC in the early stages.


Regular IFOBT can detect precancerous lesions and CRC in early stages and can thus reduce mortality from CRC.

Dr. Zhi-Zheng Ge is accepting full responsibility for the conduct of the study.