Researchers from the University Medical Center Utrecht in The Netherlands present their assessment of three fecal biomarker tests that differentiate between organic bowel disease and non-organic bowel disease in Clinical Chemistry. The researchers, led by Utrecht's Niek de Wit, applied the point-of-care tests — Bühlmann Laboratories' Quantum Blue calprotectin quantitative lateral flow assay and its EK-CAL calprotectin ELISA and Inverness Medical Innovations' Clearview One Step Fecal Occult Blood Test Device, which is an immunochemical test — to 386 patients thought to have organic bowel disease. "The diagnostic accuracy of the tests alone or in combination was insufficient for clinical utility when all adenomas were considered to be OBD," de Wit and colleagues write. "When only advanced adenomas ([greater than] 1 cm, more likely to bleed and be symptomatic) were considered OBD [organic bowel disease], however, all tests showed improved diagnostic accuracy." The authors add that these tests may help distinguish organic bowel disease from non-organic bowel disease when used in conjunction with other scoring systems.
A related editorial from the University of Dundee's Callum Fraser and colleagues urges laboratory professionals to "encourage current users of [guaiac-based fecal occult blood tests] in laboratories, clinics, wards, and primary care to replace these tests with the more effective" fecal immunochemical tests for hemoglobin. Additionally, Fraser et al. say that lab workers are ideally placed to help with the standardization of methods used in fecal immunochemical tests for hemoglobin.
Also in Clinical Chemistry, Qiwei Guo, Li Xiao, and Yulin Zhou from the Maternal and Child Health Hospital in Xiamen, China, report on their method to detect aneuploidies, called high-resolution melting analysis of segmental duplications. The team's approach first uses a single primer set to amplify regions from different chromosomes that are then analyzed using high-resolution melting analysis. Guo et al. applied this method to samples with different trisomies as well as to controls. "This novel method clearly differentiates samples of patients with common aneuploidies from those of unaffected controls, while markedly simplifying the assays and reducing time and costs," the researchers write.