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Does low dose (13)C-urea breath test maintain a satisfactory accuracy in diagnosing Helicobacter pylori infection?


, : Does low dose (13)C-urea breath test maintain a satisfactory accuracy in diagnosing Helicobacter pylori infection?. Arquivos de Gastroenterologia 48(2): 104-108

The standard doses of (13)C-urea in (13)C-urea breath test is 75 mg. To assess the diagnostic accuracy of (13)C-urea breath test containing 25 mg of (13)C-urea comparing with the standard doses of 75 mg in the diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection. Two hundred seventy adult patients (96 males, 174 females, median age 41 years) performed the standard (13)C-urea breath test (75 mg (13)C-urea) and repeated the (13)C-urea breath test using only 25 mg of (13)C-urea within a 2 week interval. The test was performed using an infrared isotope analyzer. Patients were considered positive if delta over baseline was >4.0‰ at the gold standard test. One hundred sixty-one (59.6%) patients were H. pylori negative and 109 (40.4%) were positive by the gold standard test. Using receiver operating characteristic analysis we established a cut-off value of 3.4% as the best value of 25 mg (13)C-urea breath test to discriminate positive and negative patients, considering the H. pylori prevalence (95% CI: 23.9-37.3) at our setting. Therefore, we obtained to 25 mg (13)C-urea breath test a diagnostic accuracy of 92.9% (95% CI: 88.1-97.9), sensitivity 83.5% (95% CI: 75.4-89.3), specificity 99.4% (95% CI: 96.6-99.9), positive predictive value 98.3% (95% CI: 92.4-99.4), and negative predictive value 93.0% (95% CI: 88.6-96.1). Low-dose (13)C-urea breath test (25 mg (13)C-urea) does not reach accuracy sufficient to be recommended in clinical setting where a 30% prevalence of H. pylori infection is observed. Further studies should be done to determine the diagnostic accuracy of low doses of (13)C-urea in the urea breath test.

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PMID: 21709950


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