The value of a positive fecal occult blood test (FOBT) found at the time of digital rectal examination is disputed. To determine the significance of a positive FOBT obtained in this manner, the records of 270 patients who underwent colonoscopy for any positive FOBT were retrospectively reviewed. Occult blood was found in 144 patients at the time of digital rectal examination and in 126 individuals after they submitted three spontaneously passed stool specimens. Of the patients with a positive FOBT on rectal examination, 77% were hospitalized at the time compared with only 17% of those with positive FOBTs from spontaneously passed stools. The frequency of colonic abnormalities was similar with both stool collection methods in inpatients and outpatients. No statistically significant differences in neoplastic polyp or colon cancer detection rates, nor in the finding of hemorrhoids or other anorectal abnormalities, were apparent. Therefore, the belief that a positive FOBT found at the time of digital examination can or should be discounted as a false positive (because of the presence of hemorrhoids or other lesions prone to trauma at the time of digital examination) was not substantiated by this study.
(Arch Intern Med. 1991;151:2180-2184)
Thank you for submitting a comment on this article. It will be reviewed by JAMA Internal Medicine editors. You will be notified when your comment has been published. Comments should not exceed 500 words of text and 10 references.
Do not submit personal medical questions or information that could identify a specific patient, questions about a particular case, or general inquiries to an author. Only content that has not been published, posted, or submitted elsewhere should be submitted. By submitting this Comment, you and any coauthors transfer copyright to the journal if your Comment is posted.
* = Required Field
Disclosure of Any Conflicts of Interest*
Indicate all relevant conflicts of interest of each author below, including all relevant financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including, but not limited to, employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speakers’ bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued. If all authors have none, check "No potential conflicts or relevant financial interests" in the box below. Please also indicate any funding received in support of this work. The information will be posted with your response.
Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.
Download citation file:
Web of Science® Times Cited: 27
Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.
More Listings atJAMACareerCenter.com >
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a link to reset your password.
Enter your username and email address. We'll send instructions on how to reset your password to the email address we have on record.
Athens and Shibboleth are access management services that provide single sign-on to protected resources. They replace the multiple user names and passwords necessary to access subscription-based content with a single user name and password that can be entered once per session. It operates independently of a user's location or IP address. If your institution uses Athens or Shibboleth authentication, please contact your site administrator to receive your user name and password.