Comparison of Shams' test for rectal mucus to an immunological test for fecal occult blood in large intestinal carcinoma screening. Analysis of a check-up of 6480 asymptomatic subjects

Chin Med J (Engl). 1993 Oct;106(10):739-42.


The sugar moiety detected from rectal mucus by the Galactose oxidase-schiff (Shams' test) is considered a substitutive test for immunological fecal occult blood test (FOBT) in screening colorectal carcinoma. Two strategies of screening were applied in 6480 subjects over 40 years of age, and 130 cm flexible colonoscope used for sigmoidoscopy or pancolonoscopy. Of them, 3820 were taken for immune FOBT (SPA test) and Shams' test. Only those who showed positive tests were chosen for 60 cm flexible sigmoidoscopy, while another 2660 subjects for both sigmoidoscopy and tests at the same time. Additionally, 130 cm flexible pancolonoscopy was carried out in 103 individuals with positive Shams' test for evaluating the false positive rate. Shams' test showed a sensitivity of 85.7% for colorectal cancer, 47.1% for adenomas in preselected patients, while the positive rate of SPA test were 90.5% and 41.2% respectively. In 3820 asymptomatic subjects undergoing sequential screening (aged 45 years and higher), Shams' test showed 9.1% positive, SPA showed 11.2% and 620 (16.2%) subjects were selected for sigmoidoscopy based on their positive galactose oxidase result or positive FOBT result. Two early stage carcinomas and 33 adenomas (0.32% and 4.2% respectively in sigmoidoscopy) were found. Another 2 660 subjects were taken for sigmoidoscopy screening. Four carcinomas and 78 adenomas were found. Of them, only two carcinoma (50%) and 17 (21.8%) or 22 (28.2%) adenomas were positive in Shams' or SPA test. But both tests combined in screening showed a rate of 61.3% in adenomas and 75.0% in cancers. 103 subjects with positive Shams' test were taken for pancolonoscopy. 82.5% showed no lesions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Galactose Oxidase
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Mucus / chemistry*
  • Occult Blood*
  • Rectum / metabolism*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds


  • Sulfhydryl Compounds
  • Galactose Oxidase
  • thioacetic acid