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Test ID: LEU Fecal Leukocytes, Feces

Reporting Name

Fecal Leukocytes

Useful For

Suggesting the presence of pathogens such as Salmonella, Shigella, and amebiasis

Specimen Type


Specimen Required

Supplies: ECOFIX Stool Transport Vial (Kit) (T219)


Preferred: ECOFIX preservative

Acceptable: Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) preservative

Specimen Volume: Representative portion of collection

Collection Instructions:

1. Collect a random fecal specimen.

2. Carefully follow instructions on container.

Specimen Stability Information

Specimen Type Temperature Time Special Container
Fecal Ambient (preferred) 21 days PVA OR ECOFIX
  Refrigerated  21 days PVA OR ECOFIX

Reference Values

Interpretive report

Day(s) and Time(s) Performed

Monday through Saturday; Varies

Test Classification

This test has been cleared, approved or is exempt by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is used per manufacturer's instructions. Performance characteristics were verified by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements.

CPT Code Information


LOINC Code Information

Test ID Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
LEU Fecal Leukocytes 13655-6


Result ID Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
LEU Fecal Leukocytes 13655-6

Clinical Information

Leukocytes are not normally seen in feces in the absence of infection or other inflammatory processes. Fecal leukocytosis is a response to infection with microorganisms that invade tissue or produce toxins, which causes tissue damage.


Fecal leukocytes are commonly found in patients with shigellosis and salmonellosis and sometimes in amebiasis. Mononuclear cells are found in typhoid fever.


Ulcerative colitis may also be associated with fecal leukocytosis.


When fecal leukocytes are found they are reported in a semiquantitative manner: "few" indicates ≤2/oil immersion microscopic field (OIF); "moderate" indicates 3/OIF to 9/OIF; "many" indicates ≥10/OIF.


The greater the number of fecal leukocytes, the greater the likelihood that an invasive pathogen such as Salmonella or Shigella is present.


Few or no leukocytes and many erythrocytes suggests amebiasis.


Fecal leukocytes are rarely seen in diarrheas caused by other parasites or viruses.

Clinical Reference

Pickering LK, DuPont HL, Olarte J, et al: Fecal leukocytes in enteric infections. Am J Clin Pathol 1977;68:562-565

Analytic Time

1 day

Method Name


Includes trichrome stain.

Mayo Clinic Laboratories | Gastroenterology Catalog Additional Information:

mml-gi-id, mml-gi-intestinal-infections, mml-gi-intestinal-infections-pathogens