Thresholds for a Positive FIT Test in Symptomatic Patients

17th May 2022

It is now expected that at least 80% of lower GI urgent cancer referrals should be accompanied by a Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) result.

Potential pitfall:

A negative bowel screening test should not be used to make decisions about referral in a symptomatic patient. Sensitivity levels have been set very differently for screening and symptomatic Faecal Immunochemical Tests (FIT).

Helpful hint:

The screening sensitivity threshold is 120ug/g in England (150ug/g in Wales and 80ug/g in Scotland). In symptomatic patients, the NICE DG30 guidance recommends that results should be reported using a threshold of 10 micrograms of haemoglobin per gram of faeces.

Find out more: 

  • Download this Cancer Key here
  • Access GatewayC’s ‘Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)’ course here
  • Read the NICE NG12 guidance here
  • Read Cancer Research UK’s ‘Key things to know about FIT’ document here

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