Faecal fat

Keywords: Fat faeces

Specimen:

Minimum of 72 h faecal collection (comprising at least 150 g of faeces).

Patient must be on a diet containing 70-100 g of fat per day for at least four days prior to, and during, the test.

Method:

Gravimetric or titrimetric.

If the patient is taking medium chain triglycerides this must be stated on the request form, as a special analytical procedure is required.

Faecal fat content can be assessed qualitatively by microscopy.

Reference Interval:

Total lipid <20 mmol/24 h

Application:

Investigation of malabsorption syndrome and documentation of steatorrhoea.

Test not routinely performed, recommend faecal Pancreatic elastase to assess pancreatic exocrine function. See Pancreatic elastase faeces

Interpretation:

High levels are seen in steatorrhoea caused by pancreatic, biliary or intestinal disorders.

Inadequate specimen collection can result in failure to detect steatorrhoea.

Reference:

Hill PG. Ann Clin Biochem 2001; 38(3): 164-167.