Skip to Content
UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital

UW Hospital and Clinics Lab Test Directory

Test Name: Leukocytes, Fecal

Test Code(s): FLEUK / FECWBC

CPT Code(s): 83630

Methodology: Immunochromatographic Assay

Clinical Significance: Detects the presence of leukocytes in stool: a positive test indicates inflammation which may be infectious or noninfectious, e.g. Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis.
"Routine examination of stool for fecal leukocytes is not recommended as a test for predicting bacterial infection or for selective testing for stool pathogens."
Guerrant R, et al. Practice guidelines for the management of infectious diarrhea. Clin Infec Dis 32:331-50, 2001

Days Performed: Daily, 0700 - 2230.

Turnaround Time: Stat: Not available stat.
Routine: 8 hours.

Specimen Requirements

Specimen: Stool

Collection Instructions: Refrigerate specimen if transport is delayed.

Collection Container: Preferred: Sterile screw cap container

Collection Volume: Preferred: 1 mL
Pediatrics: 1 mL

Volume Required: Preferred: 0.5 mL
Pediatrics: 0.5 mL

Specimen Transport: Transport specimen to UWHC Microbiology Laboratory (B4/231) within 2 hours of collection; refrigerate if delay.

Unacceptable Criteria: LIMIT: One specimen every 7 days.

Stability: Ambient: 2 hours
Refrigerated: 48 hours
Frozen: Not acceptable


Expected Results:


Test Limitations:

False negative test may occur in immunocompromised patients.

False positives may occur in breastfed infants.

Additional Information:

Infectious agents that cause inflammation include Shigella, Salmonella, Campylobacter, and enteroinvasive E. coli. Infectious agents that cause noninflammatory diarrhea include Vibrio species, enterotoxigenic E. coli, most parasites, all viral agents of gastoenteritis, and CMV. Clostridium difficile may or may not be accompanied by inflammation.

Stool WBCs

Back to Lab Test Directory Index