Sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictivity of the Hemoccult test in screening for colorectal cancers. The University of Minnesota's Colon Cancer Control Study

Jack S. Mandel, John H. Bond, Mary Bradley, Dale C. Snover, Timothy R. Church, Stanley Williams, Gavin Watt, Leonard M. Schuman, Fred Ederer, Victor Gilbertsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations

Abstract

Data are presented on the sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictivity of the Hemoccult test based on the experience of the Minnesota Colon Cancer Control Study, a randomized clinical trial to determine whether the use of the Hemoccult test can reduce mortality from colorectal cancer. Rehydrating the slides with a drop of water before processing resulted in an increase in positivity (2.4% to 9.8%), and sensitivity (80.8% to 92.2%) but a decrease in specificity (97.7% to 90.4%) and positive predictivity (5.6% to 2.2%). The effects of age and sex were also evaluated. The test was less specific for men than women (p = 0.03). Specificity was highest for those < 60 yr of age and decreased with increasing age (p = 0.05). The positive predictivity increased with age from 1.6% for those under 60 yr to 3.6% for those over 70 yr (p = 0.0004).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-600
Number of pages4
JournalGastroenterology
Volume97
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1989

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