Yield of Colonoscopy After a Positive Result From a Fecal Immunochemical Test OC-Light

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018 Oct;16(10):1593-1597.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2018.04.014. Epub 2018 Apr 13.


Background & aims: The fecal immunochemical test (FIT) is widely used in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening. The OC-Light FIT is 1 of 2 FITs recommended for CRC screening by the Preventive Services Task Force guidelines. However, little is known about its ability to detect CRC in large average-risk populations.

Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study of patients (50-75 years old) in the San Francisco Health Network who were screened for CRC by OC-Light FIT from August 2010 through June 2015. Patients with a positive result were referred for colonoscopy. We used electronic health records to identify participants with positive FIT results, and collected results from subsequent colonoscopies and pathology analyses. The FIT positive rate was calculated by dividing the number of positive FIT results by the total number of FIT tests completed. The primary outcome was the positive rate from OC-Light FIT and yield of neoplasms at colonoscopy. Secondary outcomes were findings from first vs subsequent rounds of testing, and how these varied by sex and race.

Results: We collected result from 35,318 FITs, performed on 20,886 patients; 2930 patients (8.3%) had a positive result, and 1558 patients completed the follow-up colonoscopy. A positive result from the FIT identified patients with CRC with a positive predictive value of 3.0%, and patients with advanced adenoma with a positive predictive value of 20.8%. The FIT positive rate was higher during the first round of testing (9.4%) compared to subsequent rounds (7.4%) (P < .01). The yield of CRC in patients with a positive result from the first round of the FIT was 3.7%, and decreased to 1.8% for subsequent rounds (P = .02).

Conclusions: In a retrospective analysis of patients in a diverse safety-net population who underwent OC-Light FIT for CRC screening, we found that approximately 3% of patients with a positive result from a FIT to have CRC and approximately 21% to have advanced adenoma.

Keywords: Abnormal; Colon Cancer; Early Detection; Prevention; Stool.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Colonoscopy / methods*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods*
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • San Francisco