[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most malignant cancers in gastrointestinal tract. In China, there are increasing rates of morbidity and mortality for CRC. As the mortality is closely related to the stage of disease at time of diagnosis, early diagnosis of CRC is important. However, current techniques used for clinical diagnosis have limitations which made them difficult to achieve the early diagnosis. The detection of RNAs in stool is a newly developed noninvasive technique for early diagnosis of CRC at molecular levels. Compared with the techniques including colonoscopy, fecal occult-blood test and stool DNA-based mutation detection, diagnosis based on the detection of RNAs in stool has the advantages of low-cost and high sensitivity. Moreover, stool RNA-based techniques are able to analyze multiplexed gene expression simultaneously and monitor cancer progression dynamically. This paper introduced the feasibility of stool RNA analysis, and systematically reviewed the genes associated with stool RNA analysis, methods of RNA isolation from stool sample, and techniques for gene expression analysis in stool RNA. Finally, further applications of stool RNA-based techniques for early diagnosis of CRC were briefly discussed.