Comparison with first round findings of faecal haemoglobin concentrations and clinical outcomes in the second round of a biennial faecal immunochemical test based colorectal cancer screening programme

Gavin R. C. Clark, Callum G. Fraser (Lead / Corresponding author), Judith A. Strachan, Robert J. C. Steele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: How faecal haemoglobin concentrations (f-Hb) vary from one round to the next in a colorectal cancer (CRC) screening programme, and relate to colonoscopy findings, are unknown. Our aim was to use data from the first two rounds of the faecal immunochemical test (FIT) based Scottish Bowel Screening Programme (SBoSP) to explore these issues. Methods: Faecal haemoglobin concentration (f-Hb) percentiles in the second round were compared with those in the first when the first round yielded a negative FIT result (<80 µg Hb/g faeces), a positive FIT but no colonoscopy, CRC, all adenoma, and a negative colonoscopy. In addition, the outcomes in the first and second rounds were compared. Results: The profiles of f-Hb in the first and second rounds differed in (a) those who had had a negative FIT result in the first round and (b) those in whom neoplastic pathology had been found. In contrast, the pattern of difference between profiles in those who had had a negative colonoscopy was very similar to that in those in whom an adenoma had been found. In addition, the risk of CRC being diagnosed in the second round after a negative colonoscopy in the first was 3.0%, not very different to that after a negative test result (4.9%). Conclusions: Adenomas may be rarely the cause of a positive FIT result. An alternative explanation as to why these are detected using FIT is required. In addition, a negative colonoscopy for a positive FIT result does not rule out the finding of significant neoplastic pathology in the next round.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Medical Screening
Early online date23 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jun 2022

Keywords

  • adenoma
  • colonoscopy
  • colorectal cancer screening
  • faecal immunochemical test
  • faecal haemoglobin
  • Adenoma

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