Fecal Lipids, Total

Test Code

CPT Codes

Preferred Specimen
20 grams timed 72-hour stool collection (see instructions)

Patient Preparation
Random, 24 hour and 48 hour collections:
Patient should be on a diet including 100 grams of fat per day for 3 days prior to collection and during the collection period

Minimum Volume
3 grams

Other Acceptable Specimens
24-hour stool • 48-hour stool • Frozen stool • Random stool • Homogenized stool

Send entire collection sample. Use a one gallon, plastic leak-proof container with screw-cap (Warehouse item #2614). Record total collection time (24, 48, or 72 hours) and weight on test requisition. If entire collection is sent, the lab will verify weight of sample. Keep refrigerated during collection. Ship frozen, do not thaw.

Do not submit specimen in metal paint cans, as processing poses a safety hazard. Specimens received in paint cans will be rejected.

Stool Collection Duration: Preferred (Normal ranges apply)
Frozen Stool, 72-Hour Collection: Acceptable (Normal ranges apply)
Homogenized Stool: Acceptable (Normal ranges do not apply)

Transport Temperature

Specimen Stability
Room temperature: 4 days
Refrigerated: 6 days
Frozen: 14 days

Reject Criteria (Eg, hemolysis? Lipemia? Thaw/Other?)
Specimens received in paint cans


Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)

Setup Schedule
Set up: Sun-Thurs a.m.; Report available: 2-4 days

Up to 12 grams of fat may be malabsorbed among patients with diarrhea even when the diarrhea is not attributable to fat malabsorption.

Reference Range
<7 g/24 h

Clinical Significance
Excessive Fat in stool, steatorrhea, is useful in diagnosing patients with malabsorption and maldigestion, e.g., pancreatic failure. In addition, results may be useful in monitoring patients receiving exogenous enzyme therapy for chronic diarrhea.

Performing Laboratory
Quest Diagnostics Nichols Inst San Juan Capistrano
33608 Ortega Highway
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

The CPT Codes provided in this document are based on AMA guidelines and are for informational purposes only. CPT coding is the sole responsibility of the billing party. Please direct any questions regarding coding to the payor being billed. Any Profile/panel component may be ordered separately. Reflex tests are performed at an additional charge.