2000 Volume 39 Issue 10 Pages 778-782
Objective This prospective pilot study was conducted to compare the usefulness of measuring fecal lactoferrin (Lf) to that of fecal occult blood (FOB) test for detection of colorectal diseases.
Patients and Methods The subjects were 351 patients who underwent colonoscopy. A fecal sample was obtained on the day before colonoscopy. Fecal Lf was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The FOB test was performed by combined assay (latex agglutination) of hemoglobin and transferrin.
Results The specificities of the fecal Lf and FOB tests were the same (88.7%). For patients with colorectal cancer (13), colorectal polyp (69), ulcerative colitis (18), Crohn's disease (13), non-specific colitis (8), internal hemorrhoids (60), colon diverticulum (27), and miscellaneous diseases of the colon (10), the rates of positivity for fecal Lf were 7/13, 14/69, 12/18, 7/13, 4/8, 22/60, 8/27, and 6/10, respectively. The corresponding rates for FOB were 8/13, 12/69, 11/18, 4/13, 4/8, 9/60, 2/27, and 1/10. For patients with internal hemorrhoids, the rate of positivity for fecal Lf was significantly higher than that for FOB. In other disease groups, there was no significant difference in the rate of positivity between fecal Lf and FOB.
Conclusion These findings suggest that measurement of fecal Lf is as useful as FOB in detecting colorectal diseases.
(Internal Medicine 39: 778-782, 2000)