Accuracy, Acceptability, and Application: Fecal Immunochemical Tests for Early Detection of Advanced Neoplasia in Colonoscopy-Based Surveillance

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The fecal immunochemical test (FIT) is widely used in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening, but limited data exist for its application in individuals at above-average risk for CRC who complete surveillance colonoscopies.

To assess the accuracy, acceptability, and effectiveness of FIT in the interval between surveillance colonoscopies, for predicting advanced neoplasia (advanced adenoma or CRC) at the next colonoscopy.

Individuals enrolled in an Australian surveillance program were included. Diagnostic accuracy was determined for 614 individuals completing a two-sample FIT (OC-Sensor) ≤ 3 months preceding surveillance colonoscopy. 386 Individuals were surveyed to assess acceptability of interval FIT. Additionally, a retrospective analysis was performed on 7331 individuals offered interval FIT between colonoscopies, where a positive FIT (≥ 20 µg hemoglobin/g feces) triggered an early colonoscopy. Associations between interval FIT results and advanced neoplasia were determined using regression analysis.

FIT detected CRC and advanced adenoma with sensitivities of 60.0% (3/5) and 27.1% (35/129), respectively. Most (89.1%, 344/386) survey respondents preferred completing interval FIT every 1–2 years. The detection rate of interval FIT for advanced neoplasia decreased with increasing FIT completion. Individuals returning a positive FIT had a higher risk of advanced neoplasia than those who did not complete FIT. Positive interval FIT reduced time-to-diagnosis for CRC and advanced adenoma by a median of 30 and 20 months, respectively.

Interval FIT was well accepted and enabled earlier detection of advanced neoplasia in individuals at above-average risk of CRC. Given that interval FIT predicts advanced neoplasia, it may be used to personalize surveillance colonoscopy intervals.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Early online date16 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 May 2024


  • Colonoscopy
  • Fecal immunochemical test
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Acceptability
  • Surveillance
  • Diagnostic accuracy


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