Effect of sample storage temperature and buffer formulation on faecal immunochemical test haemoglobin measurements.

Erin Symonds, Stephen Cole, Dawn Bastin, Robert Fraser, Graeme Young

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    Objectives: Faecal immunochemical test accuracy may be adversely affected when samples are exposed to high temperatures. This study evaluated the effect of two sample collection buffer formulations (OC-Sensor, Eiken) and storage temperatures on faecal haemoglobin readings. Methods: Faecal immunochemical test samples returned in a screening programme and with 510 mg Hb/g faeces in either the original or new formulation haemoglobin stabilizing buffer were stored in the freezer, refrigerator, or at room temperature (22C–24C), and reanalysed after 1–14 days. Samples in the new buffer were also reanalysed after storage at 35C and 50C. Results were expressed as percentage of the initial concentration, and the number of days that levels were maintained to at least 80% was calculated. Results: Haemoglobin concentrations were maintained above 80% of their initial concentration with both freezer and refrigerator storage, regardless of buffer formulation or storage duration. Stability at room temperature was significantly better in the new buffer, with haemoglobin remaining above 80% for 20 days compared with six days in the original buffer. Storage at 35Cor 50C in the new buffer maintained haemoglobin above 80% for eight and two days, respectively. Conclusion: The new formulation buffer has enhanced haemoglobin stabilizing properties when samples are exposed to temperatures greater than 22C.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)176-181
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Medical Screening
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


    • colorectal cancer screening
    • faecal immunochemical test
    • haemoglobin stability
    • Occult blood
    • temperature


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