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Primary care
Faecal immunochemical tests have the potential for correctly ruling out colorectal cancer in symptomatic patients
  1. Carlo Senore1,
  2. Ulrike Haug2,3
  1. 1 SSD Epidemiologia e Screening, CPO Piemonte, AOU Città della Salute e della Scienza, Torino, Italy
  2. 2 Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Leibniz-Institut fur Praventionsforschung und Epidemiologie - BIPS, Bremen, Germany
  3. 3 Faculty of Human and Health Sciences, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Carlo Senore, SSD Epidemiologia e screening, CPO Piemonte, AOU Città della Salute e della Scienza, Torino 10123, Italy; carlo.senore{at}

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Commentary on: Westwood M, Lang S, Armstrong N, et al. Faecal immunochemical tests (FIT) can help to rule out colorectal cancer in patients presenting in primary care with lower abdominal symptoms: a systematic review conducted to inform new NICE DG30 diagnostic guidance. BMC Med 2017 Oct 24;15:189.


Efforts aimed to increase awareness of colorectal cancer (CRC) symptoms and to reduce the proportion of cases diagnosed following an emergency presentation might result in a substantial increase in the demand for diagnostic colonoscopies, exceeding the available endoscopy capacity. The aim of this systematic review was to analyse the diagnostic performance of quantitative faecal immunochemical test (FIT) as a triage test for patients with lower abdominal symptoms.1


This is a review of diagnostic studies assessing the accuracy of triage with commercially available quantitative FIT assays in people presenting with lower abdominal symptoms. Only studies using colonoscopy as the reference standard to confirm diagnosis and reporting sufficient data to calculate …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.