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What are fecal leukocytes?

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Quick Answer

The University of Rochester Medical Center describes fecal leukocytes as white blood cells that often appear in the stool of people with inflammatory diarrhea. Mayo Clinic reports that since fecal leukocytes are not present in healthy people, they are used to diagnose bacterial infections and diseases of the bowel.

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Full Answer

URMC notes that if a patient reports symptoms of inflammatory diarrhea, a doctor orders a fecal leukocyte lab test on the patient's stool. The test is used to verify salmonella, clostridium difficile, shigella and campylobacter infections. The test can also indicate the development of Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. The doctor prescribes the proper treatment after making a diagnosis.

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