FOBT can rule out the need for colonoscopy: study

Use of the test in triage could represent a major diagnostic advance, researchers say

Immunochemical faecal occult blood testing (FOBT) works "exceptionally well" to rule out the need for colonoscopy in primary care patients with low-risk bowel cancer symptoms, UK researchers have found.

They showed in a large population study that triage of such patients using FOBT had a negative predictive value (NPV) of 99.8% and a positive predictive value (PPV) of 7%.

The diagnostic performance of FOBT was evaluated in a project involving all patients in Southwest England with symptoms considered low-risk —