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Test Code OCCB Occult Blood in Feces Guaiac method

Specimen Type

Feces (stool specimen), Timed



Offsite Collection Instructions

3 consecutive daily specimens or samples from different portions of single stool specimen smeared on Hemoccult slides; patient given diet guidelines which include no red meat for 3 days prior to test and with restriction to oxidase rich vegetables (turnips, horseradish, artichokes, mushrooms, radishes, bean sprouts, cauliflower, oranges, apples, bananas, cantaloupes, grapes). Alcohol and aspirin especially together along with other gastric irritants should be avoided.
If Hemoccult cards are not available, the stool specimen can be submitted in a plastic urine container.



Turnaround Time

24 hours

STAT Availability

Not Available

Test Methodology

Guaiac Method

Additional Information

Some oral medications (e.g. aspirin, indomethacin, phenylbutazone, corticosteroids, reserpine, etc.) can cause G. I. irritation and occult bleeding in some patients.
The Occult Blood Feces, Guaiac method (Hemoccult Sensa) is used for suspected upper GI bleeding. The Occult Blood Feces, Immunochemical method (Hemoccult ICT) may fail to detect upper gastrointestinal tract bleeding, producing a negative result. Therefore the Occult Blood, Feces Guaiac Method (Hemoccult Sensa) is used for suspected upper GI bleeding and Hemoccult ICT is used for suspected lower GI bleeding.

CPT Code


Reference Range

Negative for Blood

Coverage Information

Coverage of colorectal cancer screening is described in HCFA Program Memo AB-97-24 (November 1997). Hemoccult testing is covered by Medicare as a screening test for Colon Cancer annually. The ICD9 code V76.51 is used to support annual screening.

Hemoccult testing is used to detect gastrointestinal bleeding. When Hemoccult testing is done for a diagnostic purpose, the ICD9 code(s) describing the sign, symptom or disease that is the reason for the performance of the test must be provided.

Test Limitations

Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) may cause false negative results.

Fee Code