Fecal Analysis

Fecal Analysis is a topic covered in the Davis's Lab & Diagnostic Tests.

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Stool evaluation and examination for ova and parasites, rotavirus antigen, Clostridium difficile toxin.

To assess for indication of disease in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract evidenced in stool samples (e.g., presence of blood, white blood cells [WBCs], parasites, or other pathogens) toward diagnosing GI bleeding, cancer, inflammation, and infection.

Patient Preparation
There are no fluid or activity restrictions unless by medical direction. Instruct the patient to follow a normal diet unless instructed otherwise. If the test is being performed to identify blood, instruct the patient to follow a special diet that includes small amounts of chicken, turkey, and tuna (no red meats), raw and cooked vegetables and fruits, and bran cereal for several days before the test. Foods to avoid with the special diet include beets, turnips, cauliflower, broccoli, bananas, parsnips, and cantaloupe, because these foods can interfere with the occult blood test. Instruct the patient not to use laxatives, enemas, or suppositories for 3 days before the test. As appropriate, provide the required stool collection container and specimen collection instructions.

Normal Findings
Method: Macroscopic examination, for appearance and color; microscopic examination for presence of parasites, larvae, or eggs, for cell count, and presence of meat fibers; leukocyte esterase for leukocytes; Benedict solution (copper sulfate) for reducing substances; guaiac for occult blood; x-ray paper for trypsin; enzyme immunoassay (EIA) for rotavirus antigen; immunoassay or molecular methods for Clostridium glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH), toxin A or toxin B.

CharacteristicNormal Result
AppearanceSolid and formed
Color Brown
Epithelial cellsFew to moderate
Fecal fatSee "Fecal Fat" study
Leukocytes (WBCs)Negative
Meat fibers Negative
Occult bloodNegative
Reducing substancesNegative
Trypsin2+ to 4+
Ova and parasites (O&P)No presence of parasites, ova, or larvae
Clostridium GDH, toxin A or toxin BNegative

Critical Findings and Potential Interventions

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