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Fecal Occult Blood Testing in Acute Care Settings: A Review of Clinical Utility

Last updated: September 5, 2019
Project Number: RC1178-000
Product Line: Rapid Response
Research Type: Devices and Systems
Report Type: Summary with Critical Appraisal
Result type: Report

Question

  1. What is the clinical utility of fecal occult blood tests for the identification of gastrointestinal bleeding in acute care settings outside of screening for colorectal cancer?

Key Message

One non-randomized study was identified regarding the clinical utility of fecal occult blood testing in acute care settings, outside of screening for colorectal cancer. Evidence of limited quality from the non-randomized retrospective chart review study suggested that there is a lack of evidence to support the clinical utility of guaiac fecal occult blood testing performed before initiating anticoagulation in patients with venous thromboembolism. The evidence presented in this report should be interpreted with caution based on the limitations and paucity of prospective comparative data for general patients in acute care settings outside of screening for colorectal cancer.