Faecal haemoglobin concentration in adenoma, before and after polypectomy, approaches the ideal tumour marker

Craig Mowat, Jayne Digby, Shirley Cleary, Lynne Gray, Pooja Datt, David R. Goudie, Robert J. C. Steele, Judith A. Strachan, Adam Humphries, Callum G. Fraser (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
44 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Polypectomy may be performed at colonoscopy and then subsequent surveillance undertaken. It is thought that faecal haemoglobin concentration (f-Hb), estimated by quantitative faecal immunochemical tests (FIT), might be a useful tumour marker.

Methods: Consecutive patients enrolled in colonoscopy surveillance were approached at two hospitals. A specimen for FIT was provided before colonoscopy and, ideally after 3 weeks, a second FIT sample from those who had polypectomy. A single FIT system (OC-Sensor io, Eiken Chemical Co., Ltd) was used to generate f-Hb.

Results: 1103 Patients were invited; 643 returned a FIT device (uptake: 58.3%). Four patients had known inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and were excluded, leaving 639 (57.9%) with an age range of 25–90 years (median 64 years), 54.6% male. Of 593 patients who had a f-Hb result and completed colonoscopy, advanced neoplasia was found in 41 (6.9%); four colorectal cancer (CRC): 0.7% and 37 advanced adenoma (AA): 6.3%, and a further 127 (21.4%) had non-advanced adenoma (NAA). The median f-Hb was significantly greater in AA as compared to NAA; 6.0 versus 1.0 μg Hb/g faeces, p < 0.0001.134/164 (81.7%) of invited patients returned a second FIT device: 28 were patients with AA in whom median pre-polypectomy f-Hb was 19.2, falling to 3.5 μg Hb/g faeces post-polypectomy, p = 0.01, and 106 with NAA had median pre-polypectomy f-Hb 0.8 compared to 1.0 μg Hb/g faeces post-polypectomy, p = 0.96.

Conclusions: Quantitative FIT could provide a good tumour marker in post-polypectomy surveillance, reduce colonoscopy requirements and minimise potential risk to patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-276
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Clinical Biochemistry
Issue number4
Early online date2 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • Adenoma
  • colorectal cancer
  • faecal immunochemical test
  • faecal haemoglobin
  • polypectomy
  • surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Faecal haemoglobin concentration in adenoma, before and after polypectomy, approaches the ideal tumour marker'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this