Stool test (coprogram) is an advanced laboratory analysis of feces, which allows you to judge the functional activity of the gastrointestinal tract, the efficiency of digestion, the speed and quality of digestion of food. The main parameters of stool test are color, quantity, smell, consistency, stool reaction, the presence of impurities and pathological inclusions (mucus, blood, microparasites, undigested food residues, muscle fibers, leukocytes, crystals, etc.), chemical composition (hemoglobin, sterkobilin, bilirubin, fats, etc.). With the help of stool test, gastrointestinal inflammations, ulcerative, allergic, spastic colitis, dysbiosis, helminthiasis are detected, the treatment process of patients is monitored.
Clinical gastroenterology uses stool test to assess the function of the intestine, stomach, gallbladder, liver, pancreas and to recognize disorders in their work. The coprogram includes the study of the physical, chemical and bacterioscopic characteristics of feces.
Stool test is an additional laboratory study that allows you to clarify the level of violation of the digestive process. The price of the coprogram is specified according to the price list of the clinical laboratory.
Feces is the final product of digestion, formed during the passage of food through the gastrointestinal tract, therefore it contains information about the functioning of all organs involved in the digestion of food.
The presence of characteristic deviations in the coprogram may indicate a violation of a certain stage of digestion. The coprogram is investigated if dysbiosis, hepatitis, pancreatitis, spastic and ulcerative colitis, cholecystitis, duodenitis, impaired motility of the digestive tract, enzymatic functions of the digestive organs are suspected. Also, the coprogram allows you to objectively assess the course and correctness of the treatment of the identified pathology.
Rules for passing the analysis
To exclude factors that distort the results of stool test, preparation is carried out before the delivery of feces.
During the 2-3 days preceding the analysis of stool test, it is recommended to exclude fish, meat, vegetables (beets, tomatoes), taking any medications from the diet. A diet is recommended, including vegetable purees, cereals, dairy products, white bread, eggs, fruits in small quantities.
It is undesirable for women to take a coprogram during menstruation. In the case of a recent radiopaque examination of the gastrointestinal tract (irrigoscopy, radiography of the stomach, small intestine or esophagus), as well as rectoromanoscopy or colonoscopy, fecal collection for the coprogram can be performed 2-3 days after the procedures.
The stool for the study of the coprogram should be collected after self-defecation in a special container with a tight lid. The collection of feces obtained after an enema, laxatives, and suppositories is excluded. Urine impurities and secretions from the genital tract should not get into the stool sample.
To study the coprogram, it is necessary to fill the container with 1/3 of the volume, indicating the patient’s data and the time of fecal collection. Feces must be delivered to the laboratory immediately or within 10-12 hours after collection; storage of biomaterial is allowed at a temperature of 3-5 ° C in the refrigerator.
Interpretation of the results
Stool test is investigated by several indicators: external parameters, the presence of impurities (mucus, blood), microscopic data, chemical and microbiological composition.
Normally, when examining the coprogram, a decorated stool of brown color, dense or soft consistency, cylindrical shape, with the absence of a pungent odor is visually determined. Externally, impurities of mucus, remnants of undigested food, and blood should not be visible in the feces.
Special tests in the study of the coprogram are aimed at detecting hidden blood, proteins, pigments (bilirubin and sterkobilin). In the normal coprogram, samples for bilirubin, proteins and latent blood are negative, for sterkobilin – positive.
Microscopy of feces in the normal coprogram does not reveal or single muscle fibers are present, there is no connective tissue, fatty acids and neutral fats, starch, red blood cells. It is allowed to have a small amount of epithelium and mucus, single leukocytes in the coprogram.
During microbiological examination of the coprogram, yeast fungi, worm eggs, protozoa (giardia, amoebas, etc.) should not be determined.
The normal brown color of feces is given by the final products of pigment metabolism. The color change may be due to food dyes or medications taken. With a grayish-white color of feces, pathology of the liver and biliary tract (hepatitis, cholangitis, blockage of the biliary tract) can be assumed. In the case of a reddish shade of feces, bleeding from the lower intestine is suspected (with ulcerative colitis, hemorrhoids, anal fissures); with black color, hemorrhage from the upper floors of the gastrointestinal tract due to gastric ulcer or duodenal ulcer, esophageal varicose veins.
The shift of the fecal reaction to the acidic or alkaline side, as well as a fetid pungent odor, indicates pathological processes of fermentation and putrefaction. Sour smell is characteristic of dyspepsia, putrid – for intestinal dysbiosis, chronic pancreatitis.
The determination of mucus and leukocytes in the coprogram is the result of inflammation of the intestinal mucosa, often ulcerative colitis or intestinal infection. The presence of protein in the coprogram also indicates in favor of inflammation – gastritis, duodenitis, colitis, pancreatitis.
The presence of neutral fats (steatorrhea) and starch (amylorrhea) in the coprogram are signs of impaired absorption processes in the small intestine – malabsorption or chronic pancreatitis.
In colorectal cancer, atypical cells are often found in the coprogram.
Microscopic detection of worm cysts and larvae in stool test allows to determine the type of helminthiasis; the presence of giardia, amoeba or trichomonas speaks in favor of parasitic invasion.
The term of readiness stool test is 1 working day.