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May 2, 1980

Sensitivity of Hemoccult Slide Test

JAMA. 1980;243(17):1711-1712. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300430013005

To the Editor.—  In May 1977, in a letter to the editor, Morton J. Goodman, MD (237:2380, 1977), reported his dissatisfaction with the Hemoccult slide test for occult blood in stool. Goodman concluded that the test "was an insensitive method for detecting occult blood in stools in a mass screening setting." We responded to his letter, pointing out several problems in the methodology of screening techniques, patient selection, and calculation of data—all of which invalidated his conclusions (238:2014, 1977).In an exchange of letters to the editor, Dr Goodman (240:2733, 1978; 242:140, 1979) and S. Bharath, MD (242:140, 1979), further addressed the use of the Hemoccult slide test as a screening tool for neoplastic disease of the colon. In response to their discussion, the following information is offered to help resolve some of the questions raised.Regarding the question of rehydration, our data indicate an increase in sensitivity associated with