Steatocrit, Faeces

Diagnostic Use

Steatorrhoea is the presence of excess fat in faeces. The detection of steatorrhoea is useful for the diagnosis of pancreatic insufficiency and small bowel disorders causing malabsorption, as impaired digestion or absorption can result in fatty stools. Many infants, especially those of low birthweight or pre-term, gain weight slowly in the early neonatal period. One of the reasons for poor weight gain may be the loss of dietary fat in the stools. Children and adults that present with malabsorption symptoms may also be tested for faecal steatocrit. Possible causes include exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, with poor digestion from lack of lipases, loss of bile salts, small intestinal disease, (coeliac disease), cholecholithiasis, chronic pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, giardiasis, IBS, Zollinger syndrome.

The acid steatocrit method of stool fat estimation is a relatively simple micro centrifugation analysis. It is reliable, well established, cost-effective and has a fast turnaround time. It requires only a small amount of faeces, which is particularly useful when sampling from an infant.

It has been established that this method correlates well with the older 72 hour (faecal fat) analysis.

The traditional microscopic examination of stool for fat globules is now replaced by this steatocrit test.


Specialist Biochemistry

Delphic Registration Code


Laboratory Handling


Specialist Biochemistry - Freezer


Faecal steatocrit

Turnaround Time

2 weeks

Test Code