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Alternative namesQuantitative stool fat determination; Fat absorption
DefinitionA test that measures the amount of fat in the stool and the percentage of dietary fat that is unabsorbed.
How the test is performedAdults and children:
There are many ways to collect the samples. You can catch the stool on plastic wrap that is loosely placed over the toilet bowl and held in place by the toilet seat. Then put the sample in a clean container. One test kit supplies a special toilet tissue that you use to collect the sample, then put the sample in a clean container.
Infants and young children:
For children wearing diapers, you can line the diaper with plastic wrap. If the plastic wrap is positioned properly, isolating the stool from any urine output, mixing of urine and stool can be prevented for a better sample.
Collect all stool excreted over a period of 24-hours (or sometimes 3 days) in special containers, label (name, time, and date), and send them to the laboratory.
How to prepare for the testConsume a normal diet with about 100 grams of fat per day for 3 days before starting the test. The health care provider may advise you to discontinue use of substances that can affect test results, for example, drugs or food additives .
How the test will feelThe test involves only normal defecation, and there is no discomfort.
Why the test is performedThis test is used to evaluate fat absorption as an indication of liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and intestinal functions.
Lipid ( fat ) malabsorption is called steatorrhea. Normal lipid absorption requires bile from the gallbladder (or liver if the gallbladder has been removed), enzymes from the pancreas, and a normal intestines.
Normal ValuesLess than 7g of fat per 24-hours
What abnormal results meanDecreased fat absorption may result from:
What the risks areThere are no risks.
Special considerationsInterfering factors:
Update Date: 4/29/2003Andrew J. Muir, M.D., M.H.S., Division of Gastroenterology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT