Background: Because chronic kidney disease (CKD) may be associated with gastrointestinal bleeding from trivial mucosal lesions, we hypothesized that the predictive value of a positive fecal occult blood test (FOBT) result for clinically important colonic lesions would decrease as the stage of CKD worsened.
Methods: We prospectively identified 1,225 consecutive asymptomatic average-risk patients who were referred for colonoscopy to evaluate a positive FOBT result. Using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease equation, we estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and staged the severity of CKD by using standard criteria as follows: normal/stage 1 (GFR > or = 90 mL/min/1.73 m2 [> or = 1.50 mL/s]), stage 2/3 (GFR 30 to 89 mL/min/1.73 m2 [0.50 to 1.48 mL/s]), and stage 4/5 (GFR < 30 mL/min/1.73 m2 [< 0.50 mL/s] or dialysis).
Results: Clinically important lesions were identified in 23.9% of 531 individuals with none/stage 1 CKD, 32.8% of 497 subjects with stage 2/3 CKD, and 42.6% of 197 patients with stage 4/5 CKD (P < 0.001). Compared with patients with none/stage 1 CKD, adjusted odds of identifying a clinically important lesion were 1.61 (95% confidence interval, 1.21 to 2.15) in subjects with stage 2/3 CKD and 2.33 (95% confidence interval, 1.62 to 3.36) in patients with stage 4/5 CKD. Prevalences of adenomas of 1 cm or greater (15.1% versus 20.1% versus 22.8%; P = 0.007), carcinomas (5.1% versus 10.1% versus 13.2%; P < 0.001), and vascular ectasias (1.7% versus 2.4% versus 6.1%; P = 0.003) increased with the severity of CKD.
Conclusion: Contrary to our initial hypothesis, we found that the predictive value of a positive FOBT result for clinically important colonic lesions increased as the severity of CKD worsened.