Taylor & Francis Group
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Cross-sectional risk models using quantitative fecal hemoglobin in colorectal cancer screening: a systematic review

posted on 2023-11-14, 14:00 authored by Tim Kortlever, Willemijn de Klaver, Manon van der Vlugt, Gerrit Meijer, Evelien Dekker, Patrick Bossuyt

Fecal Immunochemical Testing (FIT) is a central tool in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening. To improve the selection of individuals for colonoscopy, risk models combining FIT with additional CRC risk factors have been developed. This systematic review aims to provide an overview of the current noninvasive FIT-based risk models for CRC screening to facilitate future implementation.

We performed a systematic literature search for risk models that combined quantitative fecal hemoglobin with clinical data or noninvasive biomarkers and that were intended for CRC screening. Risk of bias was assessed using the PROBAST tool.

Twenty risk models reported across 29 publications were included. The overall risk of bias was high. In studies that compared risk models to FIT, 11/12 (92%) risk models had a significantly higher c-statistic than FIT only. 16/20 risk models (80%) had not been externally validated and only one model has been implemented so far.

FIT-based risk models have the potential to improve the yield of CRC screening. Unfortunately, all included publications had a high risk of bias and most risk models have not yet been externally validated. The prospect of improved CRC screening with risk models should encourage more rigorous evaluation in existing screening programs.


This paper was not funded.