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Stool guaiac test
The stool guiac test is a test that detects the presence of hidden (occult) blood in the stool (bowel movement). The stool guaiac is the most common form of fecal occult blood test (FOBT) in use today.
Brand names include Hemoccult, Hemoccult SENSA, ColoScreen, ColoScreen-ES, Seracult, and Seracult Plus®.
How the test is performedA stool sample from three consecutive bowel movements is collected, smeared on a card, and mailed to a laboratory for processing. In order to ensure the accuracy of the guaiac test, it is important to follow, whenever available, the manufacturer's instruction on how to collect the stool.
Adults and children:
Infants and young children:
Laboratory procedures may vary. In one type of test, a small sample of stool is placed on a paper card. A drop or two of testing solution is applied to the opposite side of the card. A color change indicates the presence of blood in the stool .
How to prepare for the test
Do not consume red meat, any blood-containing food, cantaloupe, uncooked broccoli, turnip, radish, or horseradish for 3 days prior to the test.
You may need to discontinue drugs that can interfere with the test such as vitamin C and aspirin if possible. Check with your health care provider regarding medication changes that may be necessary. Never discontinue or decrease any medication without consulting your health care provider.
How the test will feelBecause this test involves normal bowel functions, there is no discomfort.
Why the test is performedThis test is a screening test to detect blood in the gastrointestinal tract.
Normal ValuesA negative test result is normal.
What abnormal results meanAbnormal results may indicate:
Additional non-GI related causes of positive guaiac test may include:
What the risks areThere can be false-positive and false-negative results. Using proper stool collection technique, avoiding certain drugs, and observing dietary restrictions can minimize these measurement errors.
Update Date: 2/10/2003Andrew 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