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J R Soc Med. 1981 January; 74(1): 41–43.
PMCID: PMC1438337

Screening for occult gastrointestinal bleeding in hospital patients.


Stools have been tested for occult gastrointestinal bleeding in 278 outpatients and 170 hospital inpatients using the Haemoccult and Haemastix methods. Seventeen outpatients (6.1%) and 42 inpatients (24%) were positive with the Haemoccult technique. Thirty-three outpatients (11.9%) and 93 inpatients (54.7%) were positive with the Haemastix test. Following investigation of the Haemoccult-positive patients, only 2 cases (3.4%) were considered false positive. However, the false positive rate with Haemastix was 22.9% which is unacceptable in a screening test. Haemoccult may be useful as a screening test for asymptomatic general practice patients, but a test of greater sensitivity is needed for hospital patients.

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Selected References

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