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Fecal Leukocyte Exam

Microscopic examination of the stool may be useful in categorizing the cause of diarrhea. Normally, there are no WBCs in the stool.

Absence of WBCs in the stool may be seen in:

  • Viral diarrhea
  • Cholera
  • Amoebic colitis
  • Parasites such as Giardia or Entamoeba
  • Toxic diarrheas from Staph or Clostrium

Large numbers of WBCs in the stool may be seen in:

  • Chronic bacillary dysentary
  • Chronic ulcerative colitis
  • Colonic abscess

Monocytes are seen in Typhoid Fever.

Neutrophils are seen in:

  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Invasive E.Coli diarrhea
  • Salmonella
  • Shigellosis

Normal Values*

Fecal Leukocytes Negative

*These are general values taken from a variety of sources. The actual normal values may vary from lab to lab and from one type of testing protocol to another.

Source: Operational Medicine 2001,  Health Care in Military Settings, NAVMED P-5139, May 1, 2001, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Department of the Navy, 2300 E Street NW, Washington, D.C., 20372-5300